Thursday, 10 June 2010

Times online : Two women reporters arrested as Iran cracks down on media

Iranian security forces arrested two female reporters, bringing the number of journalists held in Iran to at least 37 since a clampdown on the media which followed last year’s election.

Azam Veisameh and Mahbubeh Khansari were seized at their homes on Monday.It is not yet known where they are being held.

Further arrests are expected in the run-up to June 12, the anniversary of last year’s election, which saw President Ahmadinejad re-elected amid accusations of systematic vote-rigging.

Ms Veisameh and Ms Khansari are well-known in Iran for their work on a range of reformist publications. Ms Veisameh, a parliamentary reporter, was detained and interrogated last year for her coverage of the opposition protests that followed the election.

Iran is now the country with the world’s worst record for jailing journalists.

Those jailed in Iran include editors, reporters, photographers, bloggers and even a writer for a children’s magazine. Some are charged with endangering national security and issuing propaganda against the state, offences that carry the death penalty.

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