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Journalist missing for two years

13 September 2000, Paris (Reporters sans frontières) - In a letter to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, RSF expressed its deep concern about journalist Pirouz Davani, who disappeared at the end of August 1998.

The organisation, which asked at that time for an inquiry into this case, "wishes to be informed today about the progress of this inquiry". "The case of this journalist is extremely worrying especially in a country with twelve journalists in jail", added Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary-general.

According to information collected by RSF, Davani, editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Pirouz", disappeared at the end of August 1998. In its issue dated 28 November 1998, the daily "Kar-e-Karagar" reported rumours about the "execution" of the journalist. Several newspapers also mentioned his name among the victims of numerous murders of intellectuals at the end of 1998.

In November and December 1998, Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar, emblematic figures of the liberal opposition, Madjid Charif, editorial writer with the monthly "Iran Farda" and the journalists-writers Mohamad Mokhtari and Mohamad Jafar Pouyandeh were murdered. The trial of the presumed perpetrators of the murders is to open shortly in Tehran.

Davani was detained from 1982 to 1989 because of his membership in the Toudeh Party of Iran (pro-Soviet communist).

For further information, contact Virginie Locussol at RSF, rue Geoffroy Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 71, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail: moyen-orient@rsf.fr, Internet: http://www.rsf.fr

The information contained in this alert update is the sole responsibility of RSF. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit RSF.

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