Zahra Kazemi

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Blog   |   Iran

Public outcry can make big difference for Washington Post journalist jailed in Iran

Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi (AFP)

I met Jason Rezaian in 2003, at Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. We were among the handful of Iranian-American journalists then freelancing in the country, and we were both motivated by the desire to help improve the understanding between Iran and the U.S. Over the years, I have followed Rezaian's reports. His work in The Washington Post has been informative, insightful, and balanced.

It has now been more than a month since Rezaian and his Iranian wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested in Tehran. Based on what has been reported, and on my own detention in an Iranian prison in 2009, I have an understanding of what they might be experiencing.


1,000 deaths: Journalists who gave their lives

When Mick Deane was killed in Egypt on Wednesday, he became the 1,000th journalist documented by CPJ as having died in direct relation to his work. The photos above, a sampling of those who have died over the past 21 years, serve as a powerful reminder of the cost of critical, independent journalism.

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.

Alerts   |   Iran

CPJ background paper describes legal issues in Saberi case

New York, May 9, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is issuing a background paper today that describes the legal issues surrounding the appeal of journalist Roxana Saberi, who is imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges. The appeal is expected to be heard as early as Sunday.

Alerts   |   Iran

Saberi treated at prison hospital, court to hear appeal

New York, May 5, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the well-being of convicted Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who has been treated at Evin Prison's hospital during a hunger strike to protest her confinement, according to international news reports. A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said today that a court of appeals will hear Saberi's case next week, Reuters reported.

Alerts   |   Iran, USA

In Iran, Roxana Saberi charged with espionage

New York, April 8, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news reports that the Iranian government has charged Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi with espionage. 

Alerts   |   Iran

Report says Iran may hold Saberi for prolonged period

New York, March 25, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a news report indicating that Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi might remain in a Tehran prison for a prolonged period. In a telephone conversation with her father, Saberi said a prosecutor told her she would remain in detention for "months or even years," The New York Times reported today.

Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press 2005: Iran


Hard-liners in government and the judiciary continued a crackdown on the independent media in general and on Internet journalists in particular. In the course of the year, authorities jailed Web bloggers, banned four newspapers for publishing a letter by a reformist cleric, and closed the Tehran bureau of the Arabic-language satellite-TV channel Al-Jazeera.

Alerts   |   Iran

Penn's video camera briefly seized

New York, June 13, 2005—
Iranian authorities briefly seized the video camera of actor-turned-journalist Sean Penn as he was recording a demonstration in Tehran on Sunday, The Washington Post reported. Penn, accredited as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, is providing coverage of the Iranian presidential election for the newspaper.

"While this incident was not terribly serious, it highlights the difficulties that journalists in Iran face every day," said Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was detained by Iranian authorities and died while in custody in 2003 after she took pictures outside of Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. Iranian authorities have decimated the independent press, shutting down newspapers and jailing journalists who dared to criticize the regime."

June 13, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iran

Doctor says journalist in Iranian custody was tortured and raped before her death

New York, April 1, 2005—
Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and raped during her detention in Iran, claims a former Iranian army doctor.

The doctor, Shahram Azam, says that he was the first to examine Kazemi in a Tehran hospital before her death on July 10, 2003. His allegations were presented yesterday at a press conference in Ottawa, Canada, where he was recently granted asylum.

April 1, 2005 12:00 PM ET


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