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Tehran photojournalist forced into exile for capturing post-election unrest

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-02-11

Many Iranians who took part in the post-election protests in June 2009 fled to Turkey due to the subsequent crackdown. FRANCE24 spoke to one such refugee, Javad Moghimi, a photographer who risked imprisonment for capturing the protests on camera.

Hundreds of Iranians who protested the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 were forced to flee Iran due to the subsequent crackdown and to avoid retaliation. Some of them have found refuge in Turkey.

FRANCE24 spoke to one such refugee, Javad Moghimi, a photographer who risked imprisonment by capturing the protests on camera. Moghim has lived in Turkey for the past six months.

Moghimi told us, "During the riots, I decided to work for foreign press agencies because someone had to bear witness to what was happening in Iran. I secretly took photographs because the Iranian authorities and the Iranian official agency that I was working for had forbidden us from providing images and news about the riots. There was tremendous pressure on both journalists and photographers."

One of Moghimi’s photos (pictured) came to symbolise the uprising of Iran's youth against the Islamic regime. It made the front cover of Time magazine. After the photo was published, Moghimi became a target of the government.

Even though the photo is the reason for Moghimi’s current refugee status, the 25-year-old is proud of the photograph.

"Many of my friends have been arrested and many journalists and photographers are in prison. I am sure that there will be similar protests marking the anniversary of the Islamic revolution, as well as people who wish to cover them up, but I am afraid of another clampdown," Moghimi told FRANCE24.

Moghini believes that he will have to live in exile for a long time; he does not think the regime will fall any time soon.

However, he remains hopeful that one day he will be able to return home to work as a photojournalist in Tehran.
 

Date created : 2010-02-11

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