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AFP confirms release of its reporter in Tehran
AFP journalist and FRANCE 24 contributor Farhad Pouladi was freed Saturday, the AFP confirmed. Pouladi was detained in Tehran earlier this week as he headed to cover rallies outside the former US Embassy.
AFP - AFP confirmed on Saturday the release of its Tehran reporter Farhad Pouladi, who had been arrested earlier in the week, saying he had returned to his home.
"I'm at home; I'm okay," Pouladi told acting bureau chief Jay Deshmukh.
Earlier, the official news agency IRNA said Pouladi, detained on Wednesday, had been freed.
"The AFP journalist has been freed with the authorisation of the Tehran prosecutor general," IRNA said.
Pouladi was detained on Wednesday morning by three security personnel, two in uniform and one in plainclothes, witnesses said.
He was covering the annual commemoration of the November 4, 1979 storming of the US embassy by Islamist students, which was overshadowed this year by a counter-protest by critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June re-election.
Pouladi was riding pillion on a motorcycle when he was stopped.
The rider of the motorcycle said the security force officials confiscated the reporter's mobile phone and then escorted him away.
AFP protested his arrest and called for his immediate release.
"We are worried for our journalist. We still don't know exactly where he is being held," AFP chairman Pierre Louette said on Thursday.
"We strongly protest his detention and we demand that he be released without delay," he added.
On Friday, IRNA quoted prosecutor Abbas Jaffari Doulatabadi as saying his office was investigating Pouladi's arrest.
"Some people were arrested on November 4. The policy of the prosecutor's office is to release all those people against whom there are no accusations," he said.
"Some people have already been released," the prosecutor said, including "three foreign nationals, two Germans and a Canadian" who were arrested on Wednesday.