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Detained in Tehran

04 Jul 2009 17:449 Comments

n656261159_907163_9740Photo: Newsweek's Maziar Bahari
4 July 2009 From Lara Setrakian of ABC News

Mehdi Saharkhiz on His Father's Arrest

From a phoner with Mehdi Saharkhiz, whose father Isa Saharkhiz, a prominent reformist writer active in Mehdi Karroubi's presidential campaign, was arrested this weekend in Iran. Isa Saharkhiz had been banned from traveling outside of Iran and knew that he risked arrest for his political activities and for criticizing the regime.

"Two weeks ago that they raided our house. They threatened to break the door down, so my sister let them in. They went through my dad's personal belongings, took [Karroubi] campaign material and his computer from the campaign. Since then he's been in hiding. They tracked him down yesterday. One of his friends gave a call to let us know he had been arrested.

I expect he'll be in solitary confinement and pressed to do confessions. Anything that comes out of him as a confession is under torture or pressure. Anything he confesses to is illegitimate. He has done nothing wrong. All he's been doing is reporting what is going on. He was freely expressing his opinion, it's his constitutional right.

My dad is just one of so many who've been arrested during the past few weeks. He lost his brother in the Iran-Iraq war. He is part of this country and the country means a lot for him."


Iran election: faces of the dead and detained [The Guardian] "We want to put a face to each of those hundreds -- possibly thousands -- killed or arrested since the Iranian election."


From academic listserv: Bijan Khajehpour a renowned Iranian political economist was detained at the airport in Tehran on Saturday upon arrival from the UK. His whereabouts are unknown; it is assumed he is in Evin prison. We're concerned about his health given that Bijan is a diabetic. He has a wife and two small children.



Dr. Mohsen Aminzadeh: Member of the Student Followers of Imam's Line (SFIL), the leftist group of the students who took over the United State Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979; Deputy Foreign Minister in the Khatami administration; member of the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO), one of the two leading reformist parties; founding member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Iran's largest political party; director of the Mousavi campaign.

Dr. Saeed Hajjarian: Member of SFIL; leading reformist strategist; advisor to Mohammad Khatami during his presidency; editor-in-chief of Sobh-e Emrooz (This Morning), a leading reformist newspaper shut down by the hard-liners; member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; deputy Minister of Intelligence in the 1980s; member of the SFILM; handicapped by an assassination attempt on his life in March 2000.

Behzad Nabavi: Leading reformist strategist, a founder, and member of the Central Committee of IRMO; Deputy Speaker of the 6th Majles (parliament); chief negotiator with the United States that led to the release of the American hostages in 1981; Minister in the first Mousavi Cabinet in the 1980s; jailed for years by the Shah.

Mohammad Tavassoli: Tehran's first mayor after the 1979 Revolution; member of the Central Committee and political director of the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI), a reformist/centrist political party founded in 1961 by Mahdi Bazargan, the first prime minister after the 1979 Revolution; jailed for years by the Shah.

Mostafa Tajzadeh: Deupty Interior Minister in the first Khatami administration who supervised the elections for the first city councils and the 6th Majles, a process praised for its even-handedness and transparency; member of the Central Committees of both IIPF and IRMO; outspoken critic of the hard-liners.

Dr. Abdollah Ramazanzadeh: Deputy Secretary-General of the IIPF; Government spokesman during the second Khatami administration; Governor-General of the Kurdistan province; deputy Interior Minister for planning, and for political affairs.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi: Chief of Staff, and then Vice President to Mr. Khatami for parliamentary affairs; a principal advisor to Mahdi Karroubi (the second reformist candidate) in the 2009 presidential election; popular reformist cleric who writes for his own website/blog, www.webnevesht.com ; a leading member of the Association of the Combatant Clerics, the reformist leftist clerical organization that supports Mr. Mousavi.

Dr. Ebrahimi Yazdi: Secretary-General of the FMI; Foreign Minister in the Bazargan government after the 1979 Revolution; leading aid to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Revolution (he was arrested while hospitalized for a medical condition; it is said that he may have been released).

Dr. Mohsen Mirdamadi: Secretary-General of the IIPF; chairman of the 6th Majles' Committee on National Security; one of the three principal leaders of SFIL who took over the US Embassy in 1979.

Mohammad Atrianfar: Deputy Interior Minister in the first Khatami administration; member of the Central Committee of the Executives of Reconstruction Party (ERP), a reformist party; editor-in-chief of the popular daily Hamshahri (owned by Tehran's city council) during the second Khatami administration; manager of Shargh, a popular daily reformist newspaper shut down by the hardliners.

Mohsen Safaei Farahani: Member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; former head of Iran's Soccer Federation, deputy Minister of Economy in the Khatami administration.

Hedayatollah Aghaaei: Member of the Central Committee of the ERP.

Davood Soleimani: Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Domestic Press in the first Khatami administration; Tehran deputy in the 6th Majles; member of the Central Committee of the IIPF.

Dr. Ali Tajer Niya: Mashhad's [a large city in northeastern Iran] deputy to the 6th Majles; member of the campaign team of Mr. Mousavi; member of the IIPF.

Jahanbakhsh Khanjani: Spokesman for the Interior Ministry during the Khatami administrations; member of the ERP.

Saeed Leylaaz: Economic advisor to the Khatami administration; journalist; strong critic of President Ahmadinejad's economic policies.

Abdolfattah Soltani: Prominent attorney and member of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights (founded by Shirin Ebadi, Iran's Nobel Laureate for Peace); attorney for several jailed human rights advocates; attorney for the mother of Dr. Zahra Kazemi, the photojournalist that was murdered in an Iranian jail; imprisoned for his human rights activities.

Shahab Tabatabaei: Director of the youth committee of the Mousavi campaign.

Mohammad Reza Jalaei Pour: Director and spokesman of the nation-wide movement, Pouyesh, that supports Mr. Mousavi; son of the well-known university professor and reformist journalist Dr. Hamid Reza Jalaei Pour.

Abdollah Momeni: former Secretary-General of the Office for Consolidation of Unity (known in Iran as Tahkim Vahdat, the largest nation-wide university student organization), and the Organization of University Graduates of Islamic Iran (known in Iran as Advaar-e Tahkim); a prominent political activist.

Rajabali Mazrouei: Member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; Isfahan's deputy to the 6th Majles; journalist, and director of the Association of Iranian Journalists

Journalists and Bloggers

Mahsa Amrabadi: reporter for the E'temaad-e Melli (National Trust) daily, the mouthpiece of the National Trust Party of Mr. Mahdi Karroubi, the reformist candidate.

Karim Arghandehpour: journalist writing for reformist newspapers Salaam and Vaghaa-ye Ettefaaghiyeh, both of which were shut down by the hard-liners. He also has a blog, www.futurama.ir

Khalil Mir Ashrafi: A television producer and journalist

Behzad Basho: Cartoonist

Kayvan Samimi Behbahani: Managing editor of Naameh (Letter), a monthly publication, close ties to the Nationalist-Religious Coalition (NRC)

Somayyeh Tohidloo: a blogger at http://smto.ir ; political activist; sociologist; supporter of Mr. Mousavi

Abdolreza Tajik: political activist, economist, and close to the FMI and the NRC

Dr. Ahmad Zeydabadi: distinguished journalist writing for www.roozonline.com and print media in Iran; Secretary-General of the Organization of University Graduates of Islamic Iran (Advaar-e Tahkim); a supporter of Mr. Karroubi; close to the RNC.

Mojtaba Pourmohsen: editor of Gilaan-e Emrooz (Today's Gilaan; Gilaan is a province in northern Iran, bu the Caspian Sea); contributor to Radio Zamaneh (a Persian radio in Holland).

Hamideh Mahhozi: a journalist active in southern Iran

Amanollah Shojaei: a blogger living in Bushehr, in southern Iran

Hossein Shokouhi: reporter and journalist writing for Payaam-e Jonoob (the Message of the South), in southern Iran.

Mashallah Haydarzadeh: Another journalist active in southern Iran

Ruhollah Shahsavar: A journalist working in Mashhad (in northeaster Iran)

Mohammad Ghoochani: prominent reformist journalist, editor of many reformist newspapers shut down by the hardliners (e.g., Shargh [East]; Hammihan [Compatriot], and the weekly, Shahrvand Emrooz [Today's Citizen]); editor of E'temaad Melli; son-in-law of Mr. Emad Baghi, the prominent journalist and human rights advocate.

Jila Baniyaghoob: prominent female journalist, working previously for many reformist newspapers; editor of the website Kannon-e Zanaan-e Irani (Center for Iranian Women); writing at http://irwomen.net

Bahman Ahmadi Amooee: journalist and husband of Jila Baniyaghoob

Eisa Sahar Khiz: an outspoken journalist who has been a critic of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; contributor to www.roozonline.com director in charge of the domestic press during the first two years of Mr. Khatami's presidency, during which the Iranian press flourished.

These courageous men and women have done nothing other than defending the human and political rights of their Iranian compatriots. They deserve the support of all those who care about human dignity and freedom.


Names coming through posts [not verified]:

Mostafa Ghajar Journalist reportedly arrested 22 June



NEWSWEEK Reporter Detained

Journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari was taken into custody without charge on Sunday morning in Tehran.

NEWSWEEK Magazine issued the following statement on June 21:

On Sunday morning in Tehran, Newsweek's Maziar Bahari was detained without charge by Iranian authorities and has not been heard from since. Mr. Bahari is a Canadian citizen and a renowned journalist and filmmaker, who has been living in and covering Iran for the past decade. Newsweek strongly condemns this unwarranted detention, and calls upon the Iranian government to release him immediately.

Mr. Bahari's coverage of Iran, for Newsweek and other outlets, has always been fair and nuanced, and has given full weight to all sides of the issues. He has worked well with different administrations in Tehran, including the current one. Since the elections over 20 journalists and bloggers have reportedly been detained; the seizure of innocent journalists is a violation of the right to a free press in Iran. Newsweek asks that world governments use whatever influence they have with the government in Tehran to make clear that this detention is unwarranted and unacceptable, and to demand Mr. Bahari's release.

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To a safe return.

Heather / June 24, 2009 6:01 PM

Why would he want to work for a right wing paper such as Washington Times? That does not mean he should be arrested of course.

Malihe / June 27, 2009 8:50 PM

Iason Athanasiadis is a freelance journalist, photographer and film producer. He is an excellent reporter and a talented photographer.

It is very important to note that Iason is an independent journalist who does not have any political involvement or taking part in any kind of activism.

"Iason has always maintained his integrity as an independent journalist who sells articles, photographs and film to outlets in many parts of the world. His work serves no purpose other than the fair and humane coverage of life in the many countries where he has worked. He has a particular love of Iran, and a deep respect for its cultural and religious traditions.", from his parents official statement 25/06/09

We call for the immediate release of a dedicated journalist to fair and accurate reporting and with a deep commitment to covering Iran!

those who are facebookers; please join the group created for Iason's safe return back home @http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=90689613007

Isabella / June 29, 2009 12:51 PM

So many people! I am praying for justice and safety.

I am very worried about a tweeter named persiankiwi who disappeared a couple of days ago.

Kathleen Pfeiffer / June 29, 2009 5:18 PM

Embassy of Argentina in Tehran, Iran send edits

Darrus, Avenida Yar

Mohammadi- Calle GHOO, Nro.11

City: Tehran

Phone: (+98) 21 2257 7432

Do not hesitate.

Argentina is keen on,is friendly of Liberty and Human Right Issues.

Argentina loves Iran people.Argentina is in mourning about all Iranians

who lost their Liberty by Basij's,Ahmadinejad's,Khamenei atrocities.

Argentina is opening its doors for Iranians.

bdr / June 29, 2009 5:27 PM


I hope these people will be OK in the end.


here's an absurd thought

- our supreme God likes

Iran's Ahmadinajad

thinks he's a good man

not the New Hitler...


absurd thought -

God of the Universe says

arrest ALL journalists

throw them in Evin Prison

GET those DAMN bloggers too


USpace / June 29, 2009 9:19 PM

Know that the world IS watching and DOES care about what has happened in IRAN! As one of the many "city daily photo" bloggers, we had a special "theme day" featuring Iran on June 28. Please see www.citydailyphoto.com I posted a picture of a demonstration which I witnessed and photographed recently while on a European vacation in Birmingham, England.

Kindest regards from EAGAN daily photo in Minnesota, USA

We CDP bloggers were VERY relieved to learn that the Tehran daily photo blogger, Amir, is now home again . . . . .

leif hagen / July 4, 2009 9:11 PM

Hey, I just read in the Greek press that he has been released.

Here's a google (machine translation) of the article:


Yannis / July 5, 2009 2:42 PM

Hmmmm that's cool.

vps hosting / July 9, 2009 11:02 PM