February 1, 2010 11:51

Amnesty International launches campaign for information on missing music journalists

Organisation is 'seriously concerned' for Iranian writers who were arrested without obvious reason

Amnesty International launches campaign for information on missing music journalists
Amnesty International has launched a campaign appealing for information following the recent arrest and apparent disappearance of two Iranian music journalists and another writer.

Music journalists Behrang Tonekaboni and Kayvan Farzin were arrested at the offices of their monthly publication Farhang va Ahang on January 5, and their current whereabouts are unknown.

Tonekaboni, who has asthma and a heart condition, called his family after being arrested but was not allowed to say where he was being held. His mother Lily Farhadpour, who is another journalist and member of Iranian non-governmental organisation Mothers For Peace, was subsequently arrested on January 20. Her whereabouts is also unknown.

Iranian authorities are yet to revealed why any of the three have been detained, though a high number of journalists and protesters have been arrested and reportedly subjected to torture since the country's disputed presidential election of June 2009.

Calling for people to lobby the Iranian authorities to release information on the detained journalists, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: "We're seriously concerned for the safety of Behrang, Kayyan, Lily and countless others. The crackdown on dissent and free speech since Iran's disputed election has been brutal, and we've received many reports of torture.

"All three should be protected from torture and allowed access to their families, lawyers and the medical assistance that they need. And if they are being held solely for the peaceful expression of their views, they should be released immediately. The Iranian authorities have no right to lock people up just for speaking their minds."

Amnesty International is asking people to go to Amnesty.org.uk/behrang, whee they suggest taking action by sending an email to the Iranian authorities.

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