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Imprisoned journalist denied right to visitors

(CJFE/IFEX) - March 29, 2011 - In a letter to Bahram Ghasemi, Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Canada, CJFE condemns the violation of imprisoned journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi's right to visitors, specifically those by his wife, journalist Jila Baniyaghoub.

Mr. Bahram Ghasemi, Chargé d'Affaires
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Canada
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2K2

March 29, 2011

Dear Mr. Bahram Ghasemi,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE condemns the violation of imprisoned journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi's right to visitors. Amouyi has been denied visits by his wife, Jila Baniyaghoub, for the past seven months, a violation of prison regulations which indicate that outside visits may be withheld for a maximum period of one month.

Baniyaghoub has written to Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, complaining that she has been prevented from visiting her husband in Evin prison since she started protesting against her own sentence, a one-year jail term and a 30-year writing ban for alleged propaganda against the Islamic Republic. According to her, judiciary officials advised her to cry and beg for a visit, instead of investigating the complaint.

Amouyi and Baniyaghoub have been targeted for their reformist views, nonviolent activism and journalism. They were arrested at their home on June 20, 2009, during the weeks of protests that followed the disputed presidential elections. Baniyaghoub was released on bail a month later and charged by the Revolutionary Court of Iran in June 2010 while Amouyi is serving a five-year jail sentence.

CJFE strongly urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to uphold Amouyi's rights by allowing Baniyaghoub to visit him in prison, and again we urge that all imprisoned journalists be released.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber
CJFE President

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