Condemning the continuing arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of journalists, many of whom are being held incommunicado for long periods, Reporters Without Borders today accused the Iranian regime of “crimes against humanity” and urged the international community to speak out.
“The systematic suppression of all criticism of the regime’s political and religious institutions is creating a climate of terror that forces journalists to censor themselves or flee the country,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Following arrest, journalists are held in secret locations in extremely harsh conditions and with long periods of solitary confinement, in flagrant violation of their most fundamental rights.”
The press freedom organisation added: “These incommunicado detentions, which can be regarded as forced disappearances and crimes against humanity, are violations of international law. The international community cannot continue to remain silent.”
The latest arrest is that of Azad Lotpoury, the editor of the Kurdish and Farsi-language newspaper Yaneh, who was arrested by intelligence ministry officials at his home in Sanandaj, in Kurdistan province, on 14 January. In a search of his home lasting several hours, computers and books were confiscated, the door and windows were broken and members of his family were insulted. It is not known why he was arrested or where he is being h…