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Arrested Greek journalist in Tehran is still missing

26 June 2009 / 11:06:37  GRReporter
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The Greek freelance journalist Iason Athanasiadis (on the photo on the left) is still missing, despite all the efforts of the Greek authorities to find him. It is believed that he is in one of the prisons in Tehran. Athanasiadis was reporting the presidential elections in the Persian country for Washington Times, when he was arrested on Saturday together with another 10 Iranian journalists. According to the official transcript, he was arrested because he has exceeded the duration of his Iranian visa.

Yesterday the Foreign Correspondents Association in Athens, a member of which is Iason Athanasiadis, appealed for his immediate release. The parents of the arrested reporter, Georgios Fowden and Polymnia Athanadiadi, also appealed for his release. They stress that their son knows much about Iran, he has travelled a lot in the country, he loves it and respects its people. He has covered Iran and contributed articles to some of the biggest international media. “His work serves no purpose other than the fair and humane coverage of life in the many countries he had worked, including in Iran,” say his parents.

Iason Athanasiadis was born in Greece and he considers himself to be Greek. His parents have dual citizenship – British and Greek but he has only a Greek passport. Despite this, yesterday the British Foreign Ministry joined the efforts for his release. “Great Britain will give a note of protest to Iran for the release of Athansiadis and the other journalists. We are ready to provide all needed help, in order for him to return to his country,” said the British foreign minister David Miliband.

International organizations believe that the arrested journalists are over 30.

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