Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists April 7, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concern about conditions in which journalists and cyber-dissidents are being held Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the conditions in which journalists and cyber-dissidents are being held in Iran and the arbitrary nature of their detention, and calls for their release. The organisation issued its appeal after the parents of a detained American-Iranian journalist, who live in the United States, were able to visit her in Tehran’s Evin prison yesterday. “It is very good news that Roxana Saberi, who has been imprisoned since January, was finally able to see her parents but we must not forget that nine other journalists are also being detained in Iran in very harsh conditions,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Some are not getting the medical treatment they need. Journalist and blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi’s recent death in detention reinforces our growing concern about the conditions in which they are being held.”Saberi’s parents arrived in Iran from the United States on the eve of the prison visit. The authorities still have not announced what Saberi is charged with but her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, said on 5 April that a revolutionary court judge had been asked to decide whether the case was ready to go to trial or whether further investigation was needed.Agence France-Presse quoted Saberi’s father, Reza Saberi, as saying she was in “good” health that that he had heard that “she will be released soon.” He did not elaborate. The news of Saberi’s detention was broken by the US public radio station NPR on 1 March after it got a call from her father on 10 February. The Iranian authorities confirmed on 2 March that she was being held in Evin prison but they have never specified the charges against her.Seven other journalists and two cyber-dissidents are currently held in Iran, which is the Middle East’s biggest prison for media personnel.They include Mohammad Sadegh Kabodvand, who has been held in Evin prison since July 2007. Kabodvand is ill but, on the grounds that “he has not served three years of his sentence,” he still has not been allowed out of prison to receive treatment. His wife says she is very worried about his health. On 23 October, a Tehran appeal court upheld his 11-year jail sentence for creating a human rights organisation in Kurdistan.Kabodvand was the winner of the UK Press Gazette’s British Press Awards in the “International journalist of the year” category, announced on 31 March. The judges cited his work on behalf of human rights.Mohammad Hassin Falahieh Zadeh, a journalist who worked for the Arabic-language service of state-owned TV station Al-Alam while freelancing for many Arab news media such as the Lebanese daily Al-Mostaqbal, Abu Dhabi TV and Radio Dubai, was arrested in November 2006 on a spying charge and was sentenced on 29 April 2007 to three years in prison and a fine equivalent to twice all that he ever earned as a journalist. Held since 28 February in solitary confinement in Evin prison, under the intelligence ministry’s control, he suffers from thalassemia, a hereditary condition that causes anemia. He has been held longer than any other journalist currently detained in Iran.Kurdish journalist and teacher Massoud Kurdpoor was sentenced to a year in prison on 15 October 2008 on a charge of “anti-government propaganda in interviews for foreign and enemy news media.” His lawyer, Abbas Jamali, said he was put in solitary confinement and denied any contact with his family. He talked about the deteriorating human rights situation in the Kurdish region in the interviews he gave to foreign radio stations. He was transferred on 23 February from a prison in the Kurdish city of Mahabad to one in Orumieh, the capital of West Azerbaijan province.Online journalist and cleric Mojtaba Lotfi was arrested on 8 October 2008 in the religious city of Qom for posting a sermon by Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, a well-known opponent of Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, online. The sermon criticised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for saying Iran was “the world’s freest country.” A special court for the clergy sentenced him on 29 November to four years in prison and five years of banishment from the city. He has lung problems caused by injuries sustained during the Iran-Iraq war.Kaveh Javanmard of the weekly Karfto was transferred to Sanandaj prison at the end of last month after being held for two years in the northern city of Maragheh, far from where his family lives. A Sanandaj court had sentenced him on 17 May 2007 to two years in prison. He was briefly let out of prison in July 2008 to receive treatment for a liver ailment.Bahman Totonchi, a former Karfto contributor, has been held since 18 November 2008 in Sanandaj prison, where he still has not been formally charged.Reporters Without Borders is still without any news of blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who has been held in an unknown location since 1 November, his family says. His arrest was confirmed by Alireza Jamshidi, the judicial authority spokesman on 30 December, after it had already been reported in the media. June 9, 2021 Find out more News Organisation IranMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iran Receive email alerts to go further Help by sharing this information RSF_en News News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 March 18, 2021 Find out more IranMiddle East – North Africa News February 25, 2021 Find out more
Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable plant pathologist, has been named to the first class of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Award winners.Great American Media Services, publishers of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News, give the awards to outstanding young professionals in the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate excellent commitments to making their marks through innovation and leadership. Dutta will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO on Dec. 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.“This recognition means a lot to me, moreso to my vegetable Extension and research program. I consider this achievement a collective effort of my team of field and lab personnel, county Extension agents, industry cooperators, and my collaborators from UGA and other institutions,” said Dutta, who also serves as an assistant professor of plant pathology in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.In just a short time working on the UGA Tifton campus, Dutta has been part of several research projects that have impacted Georgia vegetable producers. By demonstrating that growth-stage-based, targeted, protective copper applications can reduce the number of sprays in a season, Dutta and county Extension agents who focus on the onion industry helped Georgia onion farmers improve their management of center rot in onions. They recommended management practices with the potential to save growers $350 per acre.Dutta has also been instrumental in providing watermelon growers with management options for Fusarium wilt disease. The collaborative team of county Extension agents and UGA scientists, including Dutta, investigated strategies that involved methyl bromide alternatives and fungicides. They found that preplant applications of chloropicrin and three bimonthly applications of prothioconazole could significantly reduce cases of Fusarium wilt.“Through the new strategy developed in this project, sustainable watermelon production will be established, which our growers will readily accept,” Dutta said.Dutta, along with Cliff Riner, UGA Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center coordinator, led a research project to improve management of botrytis leaf blight in onions through early- and late-season fungicide spraying. In a multiyear study, the team demonstrated that early-season Fontelis applications improve the effectiveness of late-season fungicide treatments. This current recommendation has the potential to increase growers’ profits by as much as $1,000 per acre.“Based on a recent survey with the county agents, the adoption rate of this recommendation in 2018 is 40 percent. In upcoming years, it is expected to be widely adopted by our onion growers,” Dutta said.A native of Kolkata, India, Dutta earned his bachelor’s degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. He earned his doctoral degree in 2011 from UGA, where he studied under UGA plant pathologist Ron Walcott. Dutta joined UGA researchers Ron Gitaitis and David Langston’s vegetable pathology program in 2012, where he researched bacterial diseases of vegetable crops.