IRAN: Journalists Escape from Iran

The Marze Porgohar Party (MPG) is pleased to announce that three of our members have successfully escaped from the Islamic Republic of Iran, following a new wave of press closures marked by a crackdown on journalists and web loggers aimed at restricting the flow of information and terrorizing the young leaders of the pro-democracy movement in the country. Mr. Babak Namdar, the MPG’s Director of Foreign Policy is now with our three members, in Turkey, discussing the situation in Iran and the future of these activists for the continuation of their democratic endeavors outside the country. The MPG has also initiated the process of requesting political asylum for them, from the United States.

Miss. Maryam Bahmanpour, 29 years of age and has attended Daneshsaraye Tarbiatmoalem University. She has also been a MPG member since 1998. Miss Bahmanpour is an active journalist and pro-democracy activist since 1996, participated in the historical 1999 student uprising in Tehran and has been the subject of frequent visits and interrogations by the Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Ministry, having served time in solitary confinement for her activities. Maryam has written for publications such as Roozayeh Gozaresheh Rooz, Arya, Aftabeh Emrooz, Zaman, Gozaresh and Gharneh 21, most of which being shut down by the repressive regime. She states that “I had to flee the Islamic Republic to continue my political activies and seeing the leadership of Roozbeh Farahanipour during the student uprising only gave me more reasons to continue my political activities abroad.”

Mr. Mohsen Barghandan is 25 years of age and has attended Science University of the Pesian Gulf. He has been a MPG member since 1999. Mr. Barghandan is an activist journalist since 1997 is from Bushehr, the site of the now well known and controversial nuclear reactor, and has therefore, had intimate knowledge of the project, in addition to his exceptional insight into the infamous assassinations of leading political figures in 1998. Having refused collaboration with the Ministry of Intelligence and being subjected to increasing pressures during his interrogations, he finally decided to say farewell to his beloved land. Mohsen has worked for publications such as Nazimeh Jonoub, Avayeh Baharestan, Nasireh Bushehr and Mahnameyeh Gozaresh. Mr. Braghandan states that “The people have distanced themselves from religion and have show their hatred towards the Islamic Republic and the Shah; as a result I can forsee only a secular republic as the future form of government in Iran.”

Mr. Payam Taheri is 28 years of age and has been a MPG member since 2000. Mr. Taheri is a musician and news photographer, politically active since 1995. He participated in the pro-democracy July 1999 student uprising, evading arrest but was eventually dismissed from Garmsar College. He states that “The Islamic Republic is basically an Arab government occupying Iran. If I want to preserve Iranian heritage, history, and culture I have to work towards overthrowing this government and establishing a nationalistic, independent Iranian government, and I can only do this from abroad.”

The MPG party, founded in 1998 by young writers, journalists and student activists, closely sympathizes with the plight of all the victims of repression and shall be publicizing the experiences of the three young journalists and activists who will themselves reflect upon the hardships of the Iranian people in their long struggle towards a free, secular republic which will eventually triumph over the tyranny of the current medieval theocracy.\?l=1&cat=17&scat=31&artid=484

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Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: January 16, 2005