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Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 3, 2008


Iran Sentences Journalist Parnaz Azima

We condemn Iran’s baseless conviction and sentencing in absentia of Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima to one year in prison for “spreading anti-state propaganda.” Iran’s security services prevented Ms. Azima from leaving Iran for almost eight months in 2007. The latest action by Iran, which forces her to "choose" between returning to Iran to serve the sentence or forfeiting the deed to her 95-year-old mother’s home in Tehran, which was used to secure her bail, is a gross miscarriage of justice.

Ms. Azima’s sentencing is part of the Iranian regime’s continued crackdown on independent media. An increasing number of Iranian editors, journalists, and bloggers have been harassed, arrested and convicted for exercising their universal right to freedom of expression and assembly, most recently those from the women’s journal Zanaan.

We urge the Iranian regime to drop the charges against Ms. Azima and to adhere to its international obligations and commitments by ending its abusive treatment of journalists and respecting freedom of the press.

2008/153


Released on March 3, 2008

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