July 24, 2009
Jailed In Iran, A Reporter's Story
BY Joe Rubin
This is not your expected tale of a three-week stint in an Iranian prison. Photojournalist Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden, who was in Iran covering the recent disputed elections and massive protests that followed, was trying to leave the country ahead of his visa expiring when he was arrested and charged with espionage. He spoke to us over Skype from his parents' home in Greece shortly after being released from prison.
As you will see, there are moments in his retelling that are both humorous and terrifying. The fact that Athanasiadis-Fowden has spent several years reporting from Iran, speaks the language, and understands the culture certainly helped his cause.
His work frequently appears in The Washington Times and is supported by our partners at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
More Reporting from Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden
Nieman Reports: Understanding Iran: Reporters Who Do Are Exiled, Pressured or Jailed
Athanasiadis-Fowden describes the shifting fortunes of reporters in Iran and, in particular, the work of American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi, who was jailed for several months in Iran earlier this year on charges of spying. She was released in May.
This online magazine and virtual reporter's bureau has become a vibrant destination for news about Iran since the election protests began in June. Much of the context comes from ex-pat Iranian journalists wanting to provide a deeper more nuanced coverage of their country's political crisis.
Pulitzer Center: Iran on the Edge
Blogging for the Pulitzer Center, Athanasiadis-Fowden wrote regularly about the growing social and political turmoil in the Islamic Republic prior to his arrest in June.