Iran confirms arrest of three journalists for publishing 'lies'

[JURIST] Iranian judiciary spokesperson Alireza Jamshidi confirmed Wednesday that Iranian authorities have detained journalists Masoud Bastani, Farshed Gorbanpour, and Soheli Assefi, accusing the three of "publishing false statements and lies" about the Islamic Republic of Iran. Jamshidi said that Assefi, who has been detained since August 4 [RSF report], has been granted a $162,000 bail. A judiciary ministry official also told Reuters that Bastani had been released but can still be questioned pursuant to ongoing investigations. Reuters has more.

On Tuesday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) [advocacy website] said it has asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intercede on behalf [press release] of two Iranian Kurdish journalists who have been sentenced to death [JURIST report] for being "enemies of God." RSF said that the two journalists' "most basic rights were violated as they were barred from court when the sentence was handed down." Last week, Iranian 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi [advocacy website, in Persian] urged the UN Human Rights Council [official website] to press for the release [JURIST report] of Iranian-American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile]. On Sunday, a senior Iranian judiciary official indicated that prosecutors have completed their investigations [JURIST report] of Esfandiari and Open Institute consultant Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh [OSI press release], but did not elaborate on the prosecutors' decision. AP has more.

 

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