Accessibility links

Breaking News

Two Iranian Activists Win Press Freedom Awards

Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh, editor of the "Zanan" quarterly journal, left Iran several months ago.
Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh, editor of the "Zanan" quarterly journal, left Iran several months ago.
Two Iranian rights activists arrested on their way to the funeral of a senior dissident cleric last year have won international press freedom awards, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The two are jailed blogger Kouhyar Goudarzi and prominent women's rights activist Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh.

The two were arrested on their way to take part in the funeral in Tehran last December of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, which attracted tens of thousands of mourners.

Abbasgholizadeh was one of two recipients of the German Palm Foundation's press freedom award for this year, which was announced on August 26.

Abbasgholizadeh, who left Iran several months ago, was sentenced in absentia in May to 2 1/2 years in jail and 30 lashes on charges of acting against national security over a 2007 protest.

"This award gives me the opportunity to show the situation in Iran, especially that of women, and the character of Iranian women in the postelection crackdown," she told RFE/RL.

She also said she would use the 20,000-euro ($25,418) prize money to raise international awareness of the plight of women in Iran by making documentaries and publishing articles.

The award is named for German bookseller Johann Philip Palm, who was executed in 1806 for publishing a document critical of French occupation troops.

Kouhyar Goudarzi, currently in prison in Iran
Blogger Goudarzi was chosen on August 25 as the recipient of the 2010 John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award from the U.S. National Press Club.

Goudarzi, a journalist for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, was charged with heresy, propaganda against the regime, and participating in illegal gatherings.

He was among 17 political prisoners who went on hunger strike late last month to protest against the worsening conditions at Tehran's Evin prison.

Club president Alan Bjerga said Goudarzi reminded "us of the importance of working for a free press in the United States and abroad."