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Concern over new arrests

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 7 May 2010 - In the last few days, Iranian activists and journalists have witnessed a new wave of arrests. ARTICLE 19 reaffirms its concern for and solidarity with all those, including prisoners of conscience, fighting for freedom of expression and the right to information in Iran.

Those recently imprisoned include Maziar Khosravi, the editor of Ham-Mihan website, Maryam Abbasinejad, a student activist, and Mohammad Oliyayifard, an attorney, all sent to Iran's notorious Evin Prison. Since the June 2009 elections, the arbitrary arrests of journalists in the traditional media, "citizen journalists" who use technology to expose human rights violations and bloggers have drastically increased.

Alongside Azad Tribune, a website dedicated to Freedom of Expression in Iran, ARTICLE 19 has also launched a Facebook page: "Freedom of Expression in Iran - Azad Tribune" with articles, news updates, and interviews, and which can also serve as a forum for discussion and debate.

Azad Tribune is joining an impressive list of organisations in support of an event organised by SCPIPW (Solidarity Committee to Protect the Iranian People's Will) in a "Night of Solidarity with the Imprisoned Iranian Journalists". The event to be held on 8 May 2010 in Washington DC, is hosted by Rudi Bakhtiar, with guest speakers including Davar Ardalan, Robert Dreyfuss, Akbar Ganji, Fereshteh Ghazi, Clothilde Le Coz, and Jacki Lyden.

Recent updates to Azad Tribune include:
- 100 Years in Pursuit of Freedom of Expression by Potkin Azarmehr, who explores the ongoing challenges faced by Iranians over the last century in their struggle to achieve their right to free expression
- A link to "Haystack": "a new program designed to provide unfiltered internet access to the people of Iran"
- A joint statement with Amnesty International calling for the Iranian government to immediately and unconditionally release the journalists and bloggers detained as prisoners of conscience
- An interview with Maziar Bahari, the Canadian-Iranian journalist arrested shortly after the elections in 2009 who talks about his ordeal, the situation in Iran and the recent threats faced by his family and him.

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