Iason Athanasiadis is still a young man at 30, but he's an
old school, shoe leather journalist. "Journalism's
deepest, most honest contributions inevitably spring from on-the-ground
reporting, unencumbered by policy agendas in
Athanasiadis is the kind of
photographer whose images illuminate people in unforgettable ways. One image, taken
in Iran and posted in a slideshow
of his work on Salon, shows a young girl in baby
blue sweater and ski cap amid a sea of black-clad women during a celebration of
the martyrdom of Shiite Islam's first Imam. Another captures two young men
sitting in the stands at a soccer match, each wearing a headband with the
green, white, and red colors of
Iason, as he is known to his colleagues and friends, learns
about a place and its culture before going to work. "A year spent living in
Like many freelancers, the young journalist writes as well
as photographs. And he isn't afraid to put context and perspective into his copy.
On Monday, the head of the Greek Orthodox church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spoke on
behalf of Athanasiadis, calling
him "a member of the Orthodox church." The patriarch sent the metropolitan emmanuel of
Athanasiadis sent an e-mail to his girlfriend hours before he left for the airport, which she shared with CPJ shortly after he was detained.
"It's my last day," he wrote on June 17. "When will I be back? Who knows? I love this country so much."
CPJ continues to
work for the release of Iason Athanasiadis along with other
Iranian and foreign correspondents--detained since June 12 in
Editor's note: The original version of this entry was modified to correct Sandy Tolan's affiliation.