Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, August 17, 2007

Increasing number of journalists targeted in Middle East 'abominable and frightning'

The arrest of Adnan Hassanpur and Abdolwahed (Hiwa) Butimar is “neither exceptional nor reprehensible in a regime like the Iranian one, or in the Arab regimes in the region, all of which have a long history of targeting journalists and intellectuals,” according to Asharq Alawsat, an Arabic international daily publication.

What makes this sentence issued by Iran’s Revolutionary Court an “alarming one” is that it invokes the death penalty, rather than just imprisonment.

In a closed session, both Hassanpour and Butimar, two Kurdish journalists, were convicted and issued death sentences on charges of endangering national security and conspiring to spread separatist propaganda against the state.

But, according to Asharq Alawsat, the increasing number of journalists abducted or killed is “more abominable and frightening” than the death sentences.

“In the face of this information revolution, these regimes have remained ensnared by their inherent tyrannies, while the societies are victimized by their beliefs and dogmas… But this targeting is not simply planned by regimes alone, but also by rival groups, or sometimes even by the very group the journalist is affiliated with.”

This persistence in targeting and killing journalists “is the social cost of terror and a coercive inducement towards silence.”

For the full article, click here.


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