Leaders of Iran

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Zahra Rahnavard Wife of ex-PM Moussavi urges release of detained female journalist

Wife of ex-PM urges release of detained female journalist: "3/3/01
Wife of ex-PM urges release of detained female journalist

Tehran, March 3, IRNA -- The wife of former Iranian prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi, Zahra Rahnavard, has called for the release of a woman reformist, Fariba Davoudi Mohajer, who was arrested last month on "yet undeclared charges" as reported by the press on Saturday.
The daily Hayat-e Now quoted Rahnavard as denouncing the "reprehensible" manner of the arrest which it described as a "stark violation of her privacy" guaranteed under the laws of the state.

"We urge the release of Ms Davoudi-Mohajer and seek an apology from armed agents who arrested her in a violent manner," she told a group of students in Al-Zahra University.

"Why should a female journalist be arrested in a violent way before the eyes of her family?" she asked.

She said that Islam dismisses such "reprehensible acts."

Davoudi-Mohajer was arrested last month. Her husband, Mohammad Baqer Bakhtiar, was quoted by the press as saying that several men, armed with warrants from Tehran's revolutionary court, beat his wife before taking her to an unspecified place.

Davoudi-Mohajer was the head of the public relations office of the now-banned Khordad daily, once managed by a former vice-president, Abdullah Nouri, now serving a jail sentence on dissent charges.

Meanwhile, another woman reformist figure, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, last week took a sharp snipe at the Iranian judiciary for the "violent arrest" of Davoudi-Mohajer.

Newspaper reports of the arrest said that persons acting as agents of the judiciary yanked off Mohajer's chador (veil), squeezed her in between doors and ransacked her bedrooms.

The Tehran Revolutionary Court denied its agents had maltreated Davoudi-Mohajer.

Meanwhile, the student news agency ISNA said a "nationalist party" has condemned the continuing arrest of reformist journalists in the country.

It regretted the detention of nationalist leader Ezzatollah Sahabi and denounced confessions extracted from him "under the worst forms of duress."

It said that Sahabi was not able to recognize his own family members who visited him in prison last week.

Sahabi, 75, was sentenced in January to four years in prison for his part in a Berlin conference on political change in Iran. He is serving his sentence at Tehran's Evin prison. Other charges are currently pending against him in court in connection with articles he published as managing director of the banned Iran-e Farda journal.

The party has also blasted the detention of Reza Alijani, an editor of the banned Iran-e Farda journal (a mouthpiece of the banned but somewhat tolerated Iran's Freedom Movement), on orders of the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

Another pro-reform columnist of Iran-e Farda, Hoda Saber, was arrested on orders of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in January. He remains in jail to date.

Over 30 newspapers in Iran have been closed down and a number of their journalists indicted on various charges since April this year. Alleged offenses include "provoking public disorder, engaging in anti-revolutionary activities and insulting Islam."

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