Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Activists Protest Exit Ban

Kurosh Salimi, Rooz Online:
While news reports indicate that planned trips of 8 Iranian journalists and intellectuals who had been invited to participate in international forums outside Iran have been cancelled, Issa Saharkhiz a Tehran-based pro-reform journalist, activist for press freedom publisher of monthly Aftab and a former deputy minister, has asked an international center for media development to protest the government ban imposed on Iranians who wish to travel outside. READ MORE

Saharkhiz’s passport was confiscated by government agents at the airport in Tehran as he was on his way to a conference in Europe. Of the other 8 journalists and intellectuals who are denied exit permits to leave Iran one is Mohsen Kadivar who heads a local organization for the defense of press freedom in Iran who was scheduled to present a talk on Iran’s constitutional movement of 100 years ago at the University of London next week, but had to inform his invitees that he could not leave the country to attend the event and give his presentation. This week another Iranian speaker, university professor Ms Sadeghi too cancelled her talk at the same conference in the UK because she too was not allowed to leave Iran.

Saharkhiz along with others on the government exit ban list have spoken to numerous officials at various levels of the Iranian government to convince them to allow Iranian journalists and intellectuals attend international forums, but to no avail.