CJFE denounces Iranian threats against Journalist Maziar Bahari

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - CJFE condemns threats made by the Iranian government against Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari.

Bahari, a correspondent with Newsweek, was held on antistate charges for four months in Iran following last year's disputed June presidential election. He was released on October 17, 2009, and left Iran to be reunited with his family in the West.

Bahari informed CJFE that family members living in Iran had received a threatening phone call on Saturday from a man who identified himself as an Iranian court official. The caller is reported to have threatened:

"Tell Maziar that he shouldn't think we don't have access to him because he is not in Iran," said the male caller, who did not identify himself by name. "The situation is getting dangerous now. Anything can happen without advance notice."

Since Bahari's release from prison he has worked with a coalition of free expression organizations working on the "Our Society will be a Free Society" campaign, and has spoken out repeatedly about the regime and called for the release of the many writers and journalists who are still imprisoned.

As part of this campaign, Bahari spoke in Toronto in March at a CJFE event. Speaking about his experience in an Iranian prison, he remembered one encounter towards the end where he was told "We can get you anywhere. And bring you back in a bag."

"On the one hand, we're alarmed that these threats have been made against Maziar," said CJFE Executive Director Annie Game. "On the other hand, it shows that the Iranian government does pay attention to outside voices - we hope their attention will translate into action, and they will release the innocent journalists who remain incarcerated in Iranian jails."

    Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) boldly champions the free
    expression rights of journalists and media workers around the world. In
    Canada, we monitor, defend and promote free expression and access to
    information. We encourage and support individuals and groups to be
    vigilant in the protection of their own and others' free expression
    rights. We are active participants and builders of the global free
    expression community.


SOURCE Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

For further information: For further information: contact CJFE Manager, Julie Payne at (416) 515-9622 x. 226

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