January 21, 2002 - Updated on January 20, 2016

A journalist arrested - The trial of ten others goes on in camera

In a letter addressed to the State prosecutor, ayatollah Sharoudi, Reporters sans frontières (RSF – Reporters Without Borders) protested against the arrest of Hechmatollah Tabarzadi, director of Hoviat-é-Khich and Peyam-é-Daneshjou (suspended). "That imprisonment is a new evidence that the authorities will not put an end to arrests in 2002. Besides, we are concerned about the fate of ten journalists whose trial in camera is under course", declared Robert Ménard, General secretary of the organisation. "We ask you to release Hechmatollah Tabarzadi as well as nineteen other journalists presently imprisoned in Iran", he added. According to the information collected by RSF, Hechmatollah Tabarzadi, director of Hoviat-é-Khich and Peyam-é-Daneshjou (suspended), was arrested on 19 January in Teheran following orders of the court. This leader of the student movement was arrested after appearing on January 19 before the revolutionary court. His attorney, Mohammad-Ali Safari, contends he ignores the judge's motivations for his decision. Hechmatollah Tabarzadi was questioned for more than four hours. In his forties, he has already been arrested several times these last three years. His last imprisonment dates back to 17 April 2001. He had been released on bail on 29 October without any trial. Besides, Reporters sans frontières is concerned about the fate of ten journalists whose trial in camera opened on January 8.. Reza Alijani, Ezatollah Sahabi, Hoda Saber, Saide Madani (Iran-é-Farda), Taghi Rahmani (Omid-é-Zangan), Ali-Reza Redjaï, Mohammad Bastehnaghar (Asr-é-Azadegan), Reza Raïs-Toussi, Morteza Kazemian (Fath) and Ahmad Zeid-Abadi (Hamshari) are indicted for "subversives activities against the State" and "blasphemy", indictments liable to death sentence. Among these journalists, five have been in prison among whom Ezatollah Sahabi, 75 years old, for more than a year. On January 10, Mohammad Ali Jedari-Roroughi, attorney for the journalists Reza Alijani and Taghi Rahmani, withdrew from the trial, considering that he was no more able to plead the cause of his clients. "I have not been informed of the charges against my clients and I had no opportunity study their dossier", explained the attorney to justify his decision. On January 20 the first hearing of Ezatollah Sahabi took place. His attorney, Gholamali Riyahi, was the only one to attend the audience, according to one of relatives of the accused. Reza Alijani and several of the journalists arrested have wrote a letter to Judge Hadad to ask for access to their files. They were answered negatively.