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SPJ calls for Iranian Washington Post journalist, other detainees to be released with an explanation



July 25, 2014

David Cuillier, SPJ National President, 520.248.6242, spjdave@yahoo.com
Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317.920.4785, tcarlier@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists urges the Iranian government to immediately release a Washington Post reporter and three other journalists being detained for unspecified reasons.

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and other American freelance photojournalists were reportedly detained in Tehran earlier this week. Rezaian has been a correspondent in Tehran for the Washington Post since 2012. Names of the other detainees have not been confirmed.

No explanation has been given by the Iranian government as to why these journalists are being detained.

“We understand tension is high in the Middle East right now, but arresting journalists will achieve nothing other than raise suspicions and blacken the international reputation of Iran,” SPJ President David Cuillier said. “You can detain the messenger, but the truth will emerge one way or another.”

SPJ calls on the Iranian government to release the detainees, give an explanation as to why they were detained in the first place and to make no further detentions of journalists in the future.

“Journalism can be a dangerous profession, and we wish for the safe return of these victims,” Cuillier said. “They have done nothing other than their jobs to inform the world of the important news of the day.”

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit spj.org.


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