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Newsweek journalist detained in Tehran

Video by Christopher MOORE


Latest update : 2009-11-16

A journalist working for Newsweek was arrested by Iranian authorities on Sunday, the newspaper has announced. Earlier, the BBC correspondent was expelled from Iran as authorities increase their grip on the media.

AFP - A Canadian journalist working in Iran for Newsweek magazine was detained without charge by Iranian authorities Sunday, the magazine said, adding that Maziar Bahari had not been heard from since.

"Newsweek strongly condemns this unwarranted detention, and calls upon the Iranian government to release him immediately," the New York-based weekly news magazine said in a statement.

It said Bahari, who has been living and covering Iran for the past decade, was "detained without charge by Iranian authorities and has not been heard from since."

"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," it said.

The statement noted that as many as 20 journalists and bloggers are reported to have been detained since Iran's June 12 elections, which set off mass protests after official results gave incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory.

"The seizure of innocent journalists is a violation of the right to a free press in Iran," the magazine said.

"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."

Iranian authorities have restricted foreign media coverage of street protests in Tehran, blaming the United States, Britain and the western media for unrest in which at least 17 people have been killed over the past week.

On Sunday, the Iranian authorities ordered the expulsion within 24 hours of the BBC correspondent.

The latest actions came a day after US President Barack Obama warned the Iranian government that "the world is watching."

"The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights," Obama said Saturday.

Date created : 2009-06-21