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French student held because of photographs and e-mails

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is very worried by French graduate student Clotilde Reiss's arrest at Tehran airport as she was about to leave the country on 1 July 2009. Reiss, who was working as a teaching assistant at Isfahan University, has been accused of spying.

Relatives told Reporters Without Borders that Reiss's digital camera contained photos of demonstrations that took place in Isfahan after the announcement of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory. She had also reportedly sent emails about the demonstrations together with photos of them.

"Reiss's arrest is typical of the crackdown that the Iranian authorities have orchestrated since 12 June," Reporters Without Borders said. "The international community must urgently press for her release. Her fate is similar to that of the hundreds of Iranians who are currently being held in Iran for circulating news and information."

Reiss has been taken to Tehran's Evin prison. French consular authorities, who were notified on 2 July of her arrest, have not yet been able to visit her but they have been in regular touch by telephone.

Reiss, a political science graduate with a keen interest in Iran, had been in Isfahan since February.

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