Iason Athanasiadis

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Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press 2009: Iran

Top Developments
• Dozens of journalists are detained in massive post-election crackdown.
•  Numerous critical newspapers, Web sites censored or shut down.

Key Statistic
23: Journalists imprisoned as of December 1, 2009.


Amid the greatest national political upheaval since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran launched a full-scale assault on the media and the opposition. In mid-June, mass protests erupted in response to official election results showing incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning by a large margin against his main opposition challenger, reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The government responded with a wide-ranging and cruel campaign to suppress dissent. As protests against perceived electoral fraud spiraled into mass demonstrations, Iranian authorities threw dozens of journalists behind bars (where many were reportedly tortured), shuttered and censored news outlets, and barred foreign journalists from reporting. During the protests and crackdown, blogs and social media sites became front-line news sources. The crackdown increased the level of repression in a regime already hostile toward the press, and followed the months-long imprisonment of an Iranian-American freelance journalist, Roxana Saberi.

Letters   |   Azerbaijan

Petitioners urge Azerbaijan to free Eynulla Fatullayev

President Aliyev: The Committee to Protect Journalists urges you to open a new page in your government’s policies toward the independent and opposition press, one that would demonstrate tolerance for the critical role of media in a democracy. No other action would contribute to this goal as much as the immediate release of Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the now-closed independent Russian-language weekly Realny Azerbaijan and the Azeri-language daily Gündalik Azarbaycan, who has been imprisoned since April 2007 on charges that range from defamation to terrorism.

Blog   |   CPJ, Iran

Reaching out to CPJ’s award winner, imprisoned in Iran

AP

The relentless crackdown on the press in Iran is, well, relentless. In the last few days we have received word that 11 more journalists have been arrested, including former CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, at left.

There are 23 other journalists already in prison in Iran, according to the global census CPJ carried out on December 1. Scores of other journalists have been arrested and released; mores still have been intimidated, beaten and harassed.

Reports   |   Iran, Multimedia

Video Report: Imprisoned in Iran



In this video report, Greek freelance journalist Iason Athanasiadis recounts his 2009 imprisonment in Iran. Athanasiadis, who spent 20 days in custody, most of it in Tehran’s Evin Prison, describes his arrest during the government’s post-election crackdown and explains how international advocacy made a difference in gaining his freedom. (4:15)

Read more about Iran and view our database of journalists in prison.

December 29, 2009 1:54 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Jailing the messengers in Iran

My friend and colleague Iason Athanasiadis spent three weeks in an Iranian prison last month. In the ongoing roundups of journalists since the June 12 election, Iason has seen his own friends and colleagues thrown in jail, including Majid Saeedi, a freelance photographer for Getty Images. 

July 17, 2009 10:40 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Iran is world's top jailer of journalists

New York, July 7, 2009--With at least 30 journalists currently in prison, Iran replaces China as the world's worst jailer of journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ called on the Iranian authorities to release all journalists who have been detained following the country's disputed June 12 presidential elections. 

Statements   |   Iran

CPJ relieved by release of journalist in Iran

In response to reports that Iason Athanasiadis, a journalist detained in Iran since June 17, was released today we issued the following statement...

July 5, 2009 8:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran, Security

Young journalist held in Iran, 'a country I love so much'

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 Washington, London, or other foreign capitals," writes Sandy Tolan, author and University of Southern California journalism professor, today in Salon. "That's what epitomizes the work of my friend and colleague Iason Athanasiadis, and it's why his detention by Iranian authorities, on June 17 when trying to board a flight out of Iran, is so troubling."

July 2, 2009 5:16 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

In Iran, newspapers censored, another reporter arrested

New York, July 2, 2009--At least 24 journalists remain jailed in Iran, according to the latest CPJ research, while the government has instituted a broad and intrusive censorship regime.

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