Talks on nuclear programme cannot ignore terrible situation of human rights and free speech
05-Dec-2010 (2 comments)

Reporters Without Borders has written to the foreign ministers of the six countries conducting negotiations with Iran about its nuclear programme – Germany, China, United States, France, Britain and Russia – urging them to raise the subject of freedom of expression in Iran with their Iranian counterpart when talks resume next week.

Sent on 21 October, the letter voices “deep concern” about the methods used to suppress free speech, mentioning “the arrests and convictions of journalists, bloggers and netizens” and, in particular, “the long jail sentences recently passed on the bloggers Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Hossein Derakhshan.”

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about the conditions in which these detainees are being held. Most of them are ill or have been badly affected, physically and psychology, by the treatment they have received. Some are being deprived of medical care. The situation of Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand, Issa Saharkhiz and Hengameh Shahidi, who have been hospitalised in the infirmaries of Evin and Rajai Shahr prisons several times since their arrest, is particularly alarming.

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