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Society & Culture

Azam Vismeh, Crime: Journalism

August 21, 2014
IranWire
2 min read
Azam Vismeh, Crime: Journalism

Shortly after the disputed presidential elections of 2009, Azam Vismeh was handed down a two-year sentence at Evin Prison for reporting on conditions of political prisoners held at Kahrizak Detention Center. She was released in July 2012.

 

Name: Azam Vismeh

Career: Journalist; worked with Shahrvand-e Emrouz, Ham Mihan, Kar Gozaran, Etemad, Shargh, Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) and Parleman (Parliament) News.

Charges: Propaganda against the regime, working with the website Kaleme and participation in street protests.

 

When arrested, Azam Vismeh was a reporter for Parleman News, the news site for the reformist faction in the Iranian parliament. She was arrested at her home on 31 May 2009 by agents of the Intelligence Ministry and was taken to Evin Prison. During the 2009 disputed presidential elections, she had persistently reported on the conditions of people arrested, especially those kept at Kahrizak Detention Center, where many were beaten and tortured. At least four people died at Kahrizak.

Vismeh published an interview with an advisor to presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi about the events at Kahrizak and, as a result, the Intelligence Ministry barred her from entering the parliament building for reporting, even though she was an accredited reporter. But she continued her work on the website Parleman News and reported on the conditions of political prisoners, lack of medical care at Evin Prison for heart patients and, quoting an MP, rape of some prisoners at Kahrizak Detention Center.

These reports led to a strong reaction from the security and intelligence agencies. First she was barred from leaving the country and then she was arrested. The main charges against her were propaganda against the regime, working with Kaleme website and participation in illegal protests.

She was detained for 52 days in solitary confinement at Evin’s Cell Block 209 and later released on bail on 21 July 2010. The court sentenced her to one year in prison, which was later changed to a two-year suspended sentence.

Azam Vismeh now works for the newspaper Shargh.

 

This is part of IranWire’s series Crime: Journalism, a portfolio on the legal and political persecution of Iranian journalists and bloggers, published in both Persian and English.

Please contact [email protected] with comments, updates or further information about cases. 

 

Read other cases in the series:

Jila Baniyaghoob

Isa Saharkhiz

Ali Ashraf-Fathi 

Mojtaba Pourmohsen

Mahsa Jozeini

Saba Azarpeik

 

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