Sunday, June 21, 2009

Newsweek Reporter, Maziar Bahari, Detained in Iran

From Newsweek:
Among the dozens of people arrested overnight in Tehran was NEWSWEEK reporter Maziar Bahari, who has covered Iran for the magazine for over a decade. Bahari was home asleep at 7 a.m. when several security officers showed up at his Tehran apartment.

According to his mother, who lives with the 41-year-old reporter and documentary filmmaker, the men did not identify themselves. They seized Bahari's laptop and several videotapes. Assuring her that he would be their guest, they then left with Bahari. He has not been heard from since... Bahari is a dual Canadian-Iranian citizen....
It might have been Bahari's June 11th blogpost, which ticked off the Iranian regime. Here's a few excerpts from the aforementioned post:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—Holocaust denier, nuclear aspirant and the West's favorite bugbear—may soon become the ex-president of Iran. According to recent government-funded polls seen by NEWSWEEK, some 16 million to 18 million Iranians say they plan to vote for his main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, on June 12—compared with just 6 million to 8 million for Ahmadinejad...

Perhaps they shouldn't be so surprised. Ahmadinejad's recent antics have dismayed Iranians from all walks of life. His government has responded to the global recession by hiking salaries for state employees and doling out cash to those who attend his speeches, fueling inflation and creating resentment...

Alarmed by the poll, Ahmadinejad has gone into a crouch... In the past few weeks the president's campaign has become secretive and withdrawn. His usually media-friendly advisers have turned off their cell phones and barred staffers from talking to reporters...
That might have been the post that got under their skin.

Incidentally, American journalist, Roxana Saberi had been detained in an Iranian jail cell for several months before she was finally released, despite the fact that Barack Obama had been extremely cordial with the Mullahs. But unlike President Obama, the Canadian government has been harshly critical of the Iranian regime over it's post election thuggery, which means, Mr. Bahari could end up being incarcerated even longer than Roxana Saberi.

As of yet, I haven't heard of any American journalists being detained since the election results were announced.

Nevertheless, all US journalists in Iran should be forewarned:

Barack Obama isn't the "meddling" type and he certainly doesn't want "to be seen as meddling" in Iran's internal affairs. So, if you rile up the Mullahs and get incarcerated, you're on your own, my friends!

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