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Seven media workers, including Franco-Iranian cameraman, arrested

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about a crackdown in recent days on photographers and cameramen. At least seven have been arrested including Said Movahedi, a cameraman with French and Iranian dual citizenship.

"The Iranian government fears images and has embarked on a manhunt for photographers and cameramen in an attempt to ensure that no professional photos or video get out of the country," Reporters Without Borders said. "Without quality images, the opposition protests and the constant crackdowns will not be reported in Iran or abroad. That would be a failure for all those who defend media freedom."

Following the expulsion of almost all foreign reporters, seven photographers have been jailed since 12 June. They include Mehdi Zabouli (arrested on 20 June), Tohid Bighi (11 July), Majid Saidi (11 July), Satyar Emami (11 July), Marjan Abdolahian (11 July) and Koroush Javan (11 July).

Reporters Without Borders sources reported that Movahedi, who works for several news media including the CAPA agency and the French TV station TF1's main evening news programme, was arrested on 9 July. He has been traveling to Iran to report for years and knows the country well. It is not known why he was arrested and what he is charged with.

At least five other photographers or cameramen have been injured by police or militiamen. They include Hamed Badie and Kian Aman, who were both stabbed while working in Tehran. Several of the injured journalists did not seek treatment in hospital for fear of being arrested.

Ali Zare, a photographer who was arrested and tortured by militiamen and police for 48 hours in a location that he was unable to identify, has described to Reporters Without Borders how detainees are mistreated. See http://www.rsf.org for his story.

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