Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Iran-Born Al Jazeera Correspondent Freed

Dorothy Parvaz, the Iranian-born journalist, was released today by the Iranian authorities. Parvaz was detained on 29 April by Syria, where she was covering the popular uprising in the country for Al Jazeera. Shortly after her detention, the Syrian authorities deported her to Iran. Yesterday, Iran had said that Parvaz was in Syria with expired Iranian passport, although she had valid US and Canadian travel documents.

Parvaz flew to Doha after being released in Tehran. Doha is the home base for Al Jazeera. The network is the most popular and respected news outlet in the Arab world and its world-class coverage of the Arab Spring has angered many Arab regimes, with its correspondents detained and or deported and its offices closed in different countries. Parvaz is free today.


Anonymous said...

Great news! The "old country" came through for her.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing highlights the bias of western media.

Iran freed her even though she did something illegal, something America couldn't have done.

Instead of showing how much influence Iran has within Syria, they pretended that Iran was the one holding her in the first place.

Nader Uskowi said...

Parvaz did not commit any illegal acts in Iran. She had not entered Iran voluntarily. So carrying a supposedly expired Iranian passport or having dual citizenship were irrelevant and she should not have been kept in the country. The great news is that she is free.

As for Syrians, I believe their fight was not with Parvaz or her supposedly not entirely legal entry into their country, but with Al Jazeera. The Arab regimes see the network as a major problem in its reporting and unraveling their official news reports.

Anonymous said...

The circumstances of her detention relate to her using an expired Iranian passport, then finding multiple passports in her possession. In addition, Syria has declared strict rules on any foreign journalists. She was trying to pull a fast one and she was caught.

The good news is the "old country" received her back, investigated the matter and provided for her release. By her own account, she says she was treated well.

Contrast this with the experience of fellow Aljazeera reporter Sami al-Haj who was detained by the US in 2001, imprisoned for more than six years at Guantanimo and tortured. Big difference--wouldn't you say, Nader?

Anonymous said...

She did not commit illegal acts in Iran, i never said she did.

She did commit illegal acts in Syria and they could have made her dissappear,or put her in jail, but they didn't - not because she was American (or Canadian) but because she was Iranian.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 11:11 AM,

Political leanings aside, we all need to defend the rights of journalists to do their work freely and object to their detention or death wherever it happens, being Sami Al-Haj's detention at Getmo or Kazemi's death at Evin.

And let's not overdo the legalistic excuses governments use to detain journalists. Last I check having two valid passports (from US and Canada) and an expired one (from Iran) is not a crime.

There are some countries like Canada and the US which recognize dual or multiple citizenships. There are countries like Syria and Iran which have de facto recognition of dual/multiple citizenship, meaning a great number of their citizens who reside in North America, for example, annually travel to and from their country of origin and immigration and law enforcement authorities accept the fact and still admit them into the countries. In case of Iran, when an Iranian American wants to leave the country, he needs to show his US passport at the airport as proof that he would not need visa to go to his destination. They Syrians have decided to enforce their lack of dual citizenship standard this time for political convenience. They are so angry at Al Jazeera.

Anonymous said...

defending unbiased journalists is a duty , but biased ones should even be pushed into the valley if the chance should arise.
I mean some of the Washington Post journalists, or Fox news ones. wouldn't you pull the triggers ?

I am sure they would.

Anonymous said...

her first interview explaining what happened to her

Anonymous said...

Well Iran seems the only civilized country in this day and age. I hope they leave this interview to run a bit longer, alone to irritate the anti Iranian block.