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WATCH: Greek journalist Iason Athanasiadis talks to the CPJ about his 2009 arrest and imprisonment in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison.


A new survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found that authorities in Iran are holding at least 47 journalists in prison, more than any single country has imprisoned since 1996.

The CPJ has found that while many were arrested following June's disputed presidential election, at least 26 journalists have been jailed in the last two months alone.

The number of jailed journalists is the highest the CPJ has recorded in a single country since December 1996, when it documented 78 imprisonments in Turkey.

“The relentlessness of the press crackdown in Iran demonstrates that authorities continue to fear new ideas and information,” says CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Our goal is not simply to document the brutality, but to let the government know that the world is watching.”

The CPJ, in its report, offers capsule biographies of each of the imprisoned journalists. It makes for harrowing reading.

-- Grant Podelco
Iranian human rights activist Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi was arrested today, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

A friend and colleague of Kermanshahi told Radio Farda that he was arrested this morning at his home in the western city of Kermanshah by security forces, who took away his computer and other personal belongings.

The reason for his arrest is not clear.

Kermanshahi, 25, is a member of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan. He is also belongs to the One Million Signatures Campaign that seeks to gather public support against laws that discriminate against women.

Kermanshahi had been active in reporting about human rights abuses and arrests in the Kurdish areas of Iran.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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