(CPJ/IFEX) - New York, July 15, 2009 - More than 100 prominent journalists from 47 countries sent a petition to the Iranian government today calling for the immediate release of Maziar Bahari, Newsweek's Tehran correspondent, who has been held without charge in an Iranian jail since June 21.
"Journalists the world over are standing behind their colleague Maziar Bahari," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "These journalists come from many different countries and many different perspectives. But they agree on one point: Maziar Bahari is a renowned reporter and filmmaker who was doing his job when he was arrested and detained without charge. He should be released, but at a minimum he is entitled to basic due process, including access to a lawyer."
CPJ delivered the petition via fax to the Islamic Republic of Iran's justice minister, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, in Tehran. With signatures from respected journalists around the world, including Christiane Amanpour, Ahmed Rashid, Mariane Pearl, Adam Michnik, and Ali Bulaç, the petition urges the justice minister to intervene in Bahari's case and see that he is released immediately and allowed to return to work.
Bahari, 42, was detained in late June along with numerous other local and international journalists amid post-election protests. On June 30, Fars News agency posted an 11-page "confession" from Bahari in which he allegedly blames Western media groups for the unrest that followed the election.
The petition was compiled by three international press freedom groups: CPJ, Index on Censorship, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. The petition is attached as a pdf; it can also be viewed online at: http://cpj.org/2009/07/free-maziar-bahari-100-global-journalists-petition.php
Farsi, Spanish, and Arabic versions are also online at http://www.cpj.org
Maziar_Bahari_Petition.pdf (29 KB)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Index on Censorship