1814 GMT: Political Prisoners Watch (Journalists Edition). Almost 130 Iranian journalists have called on head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani to take action against the on-going repression of those in the media.
The journalists highlighted the recent imprisonment of journalists Mahsa Amrabadi and Reza Ansari-Rad, as well as a flogging sentence handed down to cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraye: “Precisely at a time when the suspect in the [detainee abuse scandal at] Kahrizak detention centre [Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi] is promoted, and the forces under your authority turn a blind eye to the accusations against him, Iranian journalists are, one by one, imprisoned, defamed and even physically abused.”
They said that while “the main suspects and culprits" in the $2.6 billion bank fraud" could continue freely with their extravagant lifestyles, Mahsa Amrabadi, Reza Ansari-Rad and other Iranian journalists were being jailed “for the sole crime of writing".
Last week, Amrabadi was summoned to serve a one-year sentence in Evin Prison. Her husband, journalist Masoud Bastani, has been imprisoned for six years.
The statement declared, “We call for an end to the flogging; we call for an end to all forms of lawlessness, injustice and disrespect towards those who hold the pen. We call for the implementation of the law. We seek respect for the pen.”
More than 100 journalists have been imprisoned since the 2009 Presidential elections. Dozens are still behind bars, while others are on heavy bail and under threat of being summoned to serve their sentences.