Human Rights group Amnesty International has called on Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release 14 journalists who were detained as part of raids on Iranian newspapers.
The journalists are reportedly accused of cooperating with "antirevolutionary" Persian-language media organizations based outside of Iran, such as RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, the Voice of America, and the BBC.
Ann Harrison, the deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, denounced the detentions as the “result of draconian restrictions on reporting which violate the right to freedom of expression."
In a written statement, she said those detained appear to be victims of what she called “the government's paranoia” about a “'soft revolution’ orchestrated by Western governments.”
Amnesty International said Iranian security agents reportedly searched and videotaped the premises of the targeted Iranian publications, and also searched some journalists' homes.
Amnesty International said the publications targeted over the weekend are "Bahar," "Shargh," "Arman," "Etemaad," "Aseman Weekly," and the Iranian Labor News Agency.