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Journalists protest at colleague's arrest

BBC Worldwide Monitoring

July 22, daily Iran : In separate communiques to their colleagues in 'Emrooz' daily, the journalists and correspondents of ' Iran ' and 'Hamshahri' dailies called for the release of Kazem Shokri, a member of that daily's ['Emrooz'] editorial board.

The communique of the journalists and correspondents of ' Iran ' read: We are amazed and sorry at the arrest and detention of our dear colleague Kazem Shokri.

Those who think the method for dealing with free-thinking and responsible press lies in threats and the creation of an atmosphere of terror, and believe they can prevent the devoted journalists from writing and disclosing facts, must consider themselves defeated as of now.

The communique added: The journalists consider themselves to be the heir of the great Islamic revolution and will not be silenced when the achievements of the revolution - freedom and independence - are at issue.

While sympathizing with them [journalists in 'Emrooz'] the communique called for the unconditional release of Mr Shokri and an official apology to the press.

The communique of the journalists in 'Hamshahri', faxed to ' Iran ', stated: The unlawful arrest of Kazem Shokri, a journalist and war correspondent and one of the longest serving crusaders, has caused deep anger, hatred and grief among the press societies of the country, especially among the journalists and staff of 'Hamshahri' who are his friends.

The journalists in 'Hamshahri' stressed: It is very strange that the arrest has occurred at a time when the country needs, more than ever before, tranquillity and unity and the country's journalists have delayed - as requested by the officials and the press advisors of the president and in order not to add to the tension and confusion - their strike [Persian: tahassun-e qalam] in support of 'Salam' daily.

The arrest can engender a new wave of tension among the journalists and the press in the country.


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