“The Imprisonment of Kouhyar Goudarzi a Slap in the Face,” says National Press Club President
Following the announcement of the arrests of Kouhyar Goudarzi and his mother, Parvin Mokhtare, a source close to the case and one of Goudarzi’s friends provided the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran with information about the case. “Kouhyar’s friends have information about him up until Sunday, 31 July. In fact the last news about him is from Sunday morning [31 July]. He had a meeting with one of his friends that afternoon, but he didn’t show up…He has disappeared. The next morning, on Monday, 1 August, his mother was arrested in her home in Kerman. She is currently at the Central Prison of Kerman,” said the source.
On Wednesday, 10 August, Mark Hamrick, President of the National Press Club, issued a statement expressing the Club’s outrage and concern about the arrests of Goudarzi and his mother. The National Press Club had previously named Kouhyar Goudarzi the winner of the 2010 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award. (link) Mark Hamrick said in the statement that “the imprisonment of Kouhyar Goudarzi and his mother is a slap in the face to the world community.” He also called on the Iranian government “to release Goudarzi, his mother and all other journalists and others who have been incarcerated and mistreated merely for exercising their basic human right to self-expression.”
“Kouhyar has not had any contact with his family, and his conditions are not known at all. We are concerned that they may have done something to him…Kouhyar’s mother, Ms. Parvin Mokhtare, did not have any political or human rights activities, so her arrest is very questionable. She called from the Women’s Ward of the Central Prison in Kerman, and all she could say was that she was detained next to drug traffickers and murderers. It is unclear to all why she was arrested. Her arrest was likely with the objective to prevent dissemination of information about Kouhyar’s condition and to put pressure on Kouhyar,” the source added.
“Kouhyar was arrested in in 2009 on his way to Qom to attend Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral, and was sentenced to a year in prison. He spent his sentence inside Evin and Rajaee Shahr Prisons and was released. But this time, no judicial organization has taken responsibility for his possible detention. His friends and family have been told to file a report with their local police station for ‘disappearance and abduction.’ There are no judicial orders for the arrest of Kouhyar,” said the source.
“Considering the arrest of Kouhyar’s mother, who is his next of kin, friends and relatives have not been able to get any answers. His friends are concerned that something may have happened to him, or that he may be under pressure to make fake confessions.”