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posted on 01/11/2004 12:11:52 AM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
RSF urges Iran to release 11 newsmen
11 Jan 2004
TEHRAN, Jan 11: Global press rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged Iranian authorities to release 11 journalists, arguing that most of them are in appalling health.
"It is completely unacceptable for journalists like Siamak Pourzand, who is sick and 74-years-old, to be still held in solitary confinement," RSF's secretary general, Robert Menard, said in a statement.
"The same goes for Ali-Reza Jabari, 60, who suffers from heart problems and has even received 253 lashes. The journalists' families are not even allowed to bring warm clothing to the sick prisoners."
The statement said Siamak Pourzand, a freelance journalist who was jailed in 2000 for eight years, had even been tortured and was being held in a basement cell in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en50357&F_catID=&f_type=source
posted on 01/11/2004 12:22:48 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
(Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.)
Two New Zealanders, one motorcycle, seven days in Iran
Written and photographed by Rick Coleman
January 8, 2004
Nothing can prepare you for the nagging anxiety that pervades your body as you approach the Iranian border for the first time. Images of persecuted women, American hostages, and an old 'Ayatollah is a meanie' badge from my school days, swirled around in my mind in an endless stream of negativity towards the people of Persia. The reality was something else.
Two months earlier, as a leatherclad dispatch rider, I pushed open the heavy wooden door of the Iranian Consulate in London, under the watchful eye of the man in the bullet proof glass enclosure, with the video monitors.
I stood nervously in the subdued hush, clutching a handful of papers and passports, to lodge a visa application. I approached the counter, painfully aware of my appearance, and handed over the forms to the upright and bearded gentleman behind the counter. Flicking sternly through the papers, he came to my New Zealand passport.
"Kiwi!" he exclaimed. "Anchor Butter, good butter. And your lamb, very fine lamb sir. Where you from? Wellington? Auckland?"
I couldn't believe my ears, and was soon discussing beautiful mountains and lush green grass, rather than religious preferences or politics.
However, my English partner was not so joyfully received. Salman Rushdie (an unfortunate last name I felt) had had lunch with the then Prime Minister John Major. A 5 day transit/tourist visa for British citizens had immediately risen from £25, to £500. A grim development when attempting to co-ordinate an overland journey from England to India on a shoestring. Three weeks later, and a week before our scheduled departure, the fee was dropped back to £25 again, a little closer to the £4 charged to a 'kiwi'. http://www.iranian.com/Travelers/2004/January/Hospitality/index.html
posted on 01/11/2004 12:29:39 AM PST
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