Furloughs lower Iran prison count, but dozens still jailed
Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, April 6, 2010—At least 35 journalists were imprisoned in Iran as of April 1 as authorities continued their nearly year-long crackdown on the news media, according to CPJ’s latest monthly census. Another 18 journalists were free on short-term furloughs granted for the Iranian New Year and were expected to report back to prison.

Many of the incarcerated journalists are under immense physical and psychological pressure to “confess” to crimes they have not committed, including crimes that could carry the death sentence, CPJ research shows. Many have also been denied family visits and access to legal counsel. Others have been held without charge for periods far exceeding legal limits.

“Not only is the scope of journalist detentions in Iran regrettable, so too is the appalling treatment these journalists have been subjected to,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “People all over the world hold the Iranian government responsible for any harm that might befall these journalists while in custody for simply doing their jobs. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and hope that those furloughed will not be returned to jail."

In light of the Iranian government’s crackdown, CPJ is conducting monthly surveys of journalists imprisoned in Iran. (CPJ normally conducts a worldwide survey of jailed journalists each December.) CPJ’s February census recorded 52 journalists in Iranian prisons; in January, the census found 47 beh... >>>

recommended by Shifteh Ansari