Intelligence services hold Afghan journalist incommunicado in Qom

Intelligence services hold Afghan journalist incommunicado in Qom

Afghan journalist Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the editor of the monthly
Haqoq-e-Zan (“Women’s Rights), has been held incommunicado in Qom for
the past week, Reporters Without Borders said today. Nasab has lived
for several years in Qom, which is 150 km southwest of Tehran.

“Nasab’s arbitrary detention is yet further evidence of the
government’s inability to tolerate the press,” Reporters Without
Borders said. “Local journalists are subject to constant harassment and
intimidation, against which they are powerless. Foreign journalists in
Iran are hardly any better off.”

Nasab was arrested at his home
in Qom on 4 March by intelligence ministry officials, who carried out a
search and took away his computer’s disk drive and personal documents.
It is not known where he is currently being held.

When Reporters
Without Borders reached Rahimullah Samander, the president of the
Kabul-based Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), he
called for Nasab’s immediate release. He said the AIJA also urged the
authorities to allow Nasab to receive visits from his family and his

Nasab spent more than 80 days in prison in the Afghan
capital of Kabul in 2005 after being convicted of blasphemy by writing
articles criticising the severity of Koranic law.

Two Iranian
journalists have meanwhile received prison sentences since the start of
the month. Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee of the daily Sarmayeh was given a
six-month sentence and Parnaz Azima of the US radio station Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty got a one-year sentence.

The Press
Surveillance and Authorisation Commission suspended Asar Panjshanbeh, a
monthly has been published for the past nine years, on 7 February.