NEWSWEEK: Maziar Bahari Released

Oct 19, 20090 comments

Newsweek Web Exclusive
Oct 17, 2009 | Updated: 4:28  p.m. ET Oct 17, 2009

MaziarBahariNEWSWEEK reporter Maziar Bahari, imprisoned in Tehran since June 21, was released from Evin Prison on bail Saturday. Iranian authorities did not specify the reasons behind the release, but Bahari, 42, is expecting his first child on Oct. 26 and the mother has experienced serious health complications. Humanitarian considerations were presumed to have played a role in the decision. In a statement, the magazine said, “We are relieved that NEWSWEEK journalist Maziar Bahari is home with his family today. We would like to thank all of those who supported Maziar through this long and uncertain period.” Bahari, NEWSWEEK’s Iran correspondent and an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker, was arrested in the aftermath of the contested June 12 re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has been accredited to the magazine in Iran for over a decade, and in that time had established a solid reputation for balanced reporting. His films have won awards abroad and in the words of the Harvard Film Archives, “provide a glimpse inside contemporary Iranian culture as they reveal the human element behind the headlines and capture cultural truths through the lens of individual experience.” Several hundred authors, journalists, and filmmakers from around the world, including several Nobel prize winners, have signed petitions asking for his release. Last month he was a finalist for the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, which has been compared to Spain’s Nobel Peace prize. According to The Wall Street Journal, his case was raised along with those of other detained foreign nationals at talks between the United States and Iran in Geneva recently.