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Watchdog Calls For Answers On Anniversary Of Iran Journalist's Death

Omidreza Mirsayafi

Omidreza Mirsayafi

The Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has asked for a full investigation into the case of Omidreza Mirsayafi, an Iranian journalist and blogger who died in prison one year ago, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

On March 18, 2009, Mirsayafi died in Tehran's Evin prison. Prison authorities said he committed suicide by overdosing on sedative tablets.

Mirsayafi was serving a two-year sentence for insulting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his personal weblog.

Reza Moini, from Reporters Without Borders' Iran section, told Radio Farda that although it was known that Mirsayafi's mental and physical health were at risk, prison authorities had been negligent in his case.

"Despite the fact Mirsayafi's lawyer told the judge that Mirsayafi couldn't tolerate the prison [situation], they kept him imprisoned," Moini said.

He also called for Iran to release all 30 journalists and bloggers that, according to Iranian news agencies, were arrested recently.

Moini told Radio Farda that these people have been arrested with no clear charges against them. He said that for these journalists and bloggers, "their
situation is critical."