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Greek journalist arrested in Iran

24 June 2009 / 11:06:41  GRReporter
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The Greek Foreign Ministry confirmed that the Greek journalist, Yasson Athanasiadis was arrested in Iran on Saturday. He is a freelance journalist, who was reporting the presidential elections in Iran for Washington Times. “We have undertaken all necessary diplomatic steps, we are keeping contact with Athansiadis’ family and with the Iranian authorities and we hope this case will be solved fast,” said the spokesman of the ministry Grigoris Delavekouras.

“I can confirm that this Greek citizen has been travelling to Iran very often in the past few months, due to his job as a journalist of different media. Last Saturday, he was arrested for illegal actions but I am not familiar with the exact violation,” said the director of the foreign media department of the Ministry of Culture and Islam Leadership Mohsen Moghadaszadeh for Fars agency. According to Reuters, Yasson Athanasiadis was arrested together with a Canadian reporter, who was working for Newsweek, and ten other Iranian journalists during a police check up in their office. The same agency quotes a Greek official, who said that the official reason for Athanasiadis’ arrest is the fact that he had exceeded the duration of his visa.

Yesterday over 250 people went out on the central Athenian square Syntagma, in order to express their support for defending the democratic rights and freedom in Iran. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders announced that ever since the beginning of commotion in Iran, at least 26 journalists have been arrested. The secretary general of the organization Jean-François Julliard announced that very soon, all foreign journalists will be sent away from the Persian country.

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