Raha Askarizadeh, journalist och fotograf.

Revoke the prison sentence against Raha Askarizadeh!

2021-01-12 | FemPers padlock


Feminist perspective condemns the verdict against photojournalist Raha Askarizadeh, who is accused of ”violating national security” due to her professional practice. In addition to two years in prison, the sentence entails a travel and professional ban, as well as a ban on activities on social media.

Raha Askarizadeh, a photographer, video journalist and writer is convicted to two years in prison, due to accusations of ”crimes against national security”. Askarizadeh dismisses all accusations and insists that all her work has been published in compliance with applicable law.

The sentence was confirmd on January 7 by a Court of Appeal, which means that Askarizadeh will be imprisoned for two years. It also means a two-year travel ban, a ban on activities on social media and a ban on work, to be enforced after the prison sentence has been served.

Askarizadeh was arrested on November 28 at the airport in Teheran, while on her way to Turkey. After 33 days in custody, 12 of which in isolation, and interrogation she was released on bail pending trial.

Raha Askarizadeh works as a photographer, interpreter and writer. Her photos are published in Iranian media as well as a number of publications in the Middle East and Europe, including Sweden.

The main theme in Askarizadeh’s photographic reports is women, migrants and environment. Most recently, she photographed a village in Turkey that has been hit hard by floods that, according to environmental law activists, are a consequence of Erdogan policies.

Feministiskt perspektiv published the photo reports Syrian women about life as a refugee and #1may: Domestic workers protested against exploitation by Askarizadeh while she was studying and working in Beirut.

Raha Askarizadeh is not alone. In October three women journalists were arrested within a week, according to Reporters without borders (RSF). Alieh Motalebzadeh, photo journalist, womens rights activist and vice president of the Association for the Defence of Press Freedom like Raha Askarizadeh had a previous conviction confirmed. The student Roghieh (Ashraf) Nafari is to serve three months in jail for a tweet. Shabnam Ashaouri, editor for the economy magazine Aghahinameh, specialized on working class issues, was arrested on October 4 in her home. The same day at least sex other worker activists were arrested, their families since then do not know where they are or why they were arrested.

In the beginning of November, RSF condemned the arrest of freelance reporter Mehrnoush Tafian as well as the photographer and documentary filmmaker Negar Masoudi, accused of breaching the veil decree when she photographed women whose faces were disfigured during acid attacks.

Since 40 years, Iran is on of the world’s most repressive countries for journalists. Journalists in Iran continue to be arrested and jailed arbitrarily. In december 2020, four journalists were arrested within four days.

Feminist perspective demands that the prison sentence against our colleague Raha Askarizadeh be revoked. We expect the Swedish government to condemn arbitrary arrests of journalists, among them Raha Askarizadeh, and to act to ensure that all political prisoners in Iran are released unconditionally.

هیات تحریریه فمینیست پرسپکتیو در سوئد خواهان لغو حکم زندان برای همکار مطبوعاتی شان رها عسکری زاده است. «ما انتظار داریم که دولت سوئد بازداشت های خودسرانه ژورنالیست ها و از جمله رها عسکری زاده را محکوم کند و در راستای تحقق خواست آزادی بی قید و شرط همه زندانیان سیاسی در ایران اقدام کند.» فمینیست پرسپکتیو در سال های گذشته دو رپرتاژ از رها عسکری زاده در رابطه با مسائل پناهندگی و زنان منتشر کرده بود.


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