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IFJ concerned for safety of Danish journalism student in Iran

(IFJ/IFEX) - 6 November 2009 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed deep concern about the whereabouts of Niels Kroghsgaard, a Danish journalism student, who went missing on Wednesday in Tehran. Witness reports say he was arrested by government security forces during the demonstrations marking the 30th anniversary of the storming of the US embassy in Tehran.

Three Iranian journalists, Farhad Fooladi, Behnam Nikzad, and Nafiseh Zare Kohan, are also reported arrested.

"We are deeply concerned about Kroghsgaard and the three Iranian journalists," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "We call on the authorities to identify their whereabouts and to release them immediately."

Niels Kroghsgaard is a Danish student of journalism who was in Tehran to prepare a media project for his graduation. He is also a member of the student section of the Danish Union of Journalists.

"I firmly demand the Iranian authorities release the arrested journalists, and from the Danish Union we will do all what's needed to get Kroghsgaard released and back to Denmark," said Mogens Blicher Bjerregar, President of the Danish Union of Journalists.

Farhad Fooladi, an Iranian journalist working for French News Agency, Behnam Nikzad, a freelance journalist for a news website in Tabriz city, and Nafiseh Zare Kohan, a freelance journalist, are also all believed to have been arrested while covering the demonstrations.

The IFJ and its affiliates recently launched an appeal to the authorities to protest the plight of over forty Iranian journalists who were arrested during the demonstrations in June and July, at least twenty of whom are still being held.

The IFJ is also demanding the re-opening of the offices of its affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists, closed by the General Prosecutor on the 5th August.
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