Mohammad Davari

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Mohammad Davari
Born c. 1974
Nationality Iranian
Occupation journalist
Organization Saham News
Known for 2009 arrest
Awards International Press Freedom Award (2010)

Mohammad Davari (born c. 1974) is an Iranian journalist. After he documented abuses of prisoners at Kahrizak detention center, he was sentenced to five years in prison by the Iranian government, drawing international protest on his behalf.

Biography[edit]

As a student, Davari volunteered to fight in the Iran-Iraq War, in which he was wounded in the eye and leg.[1] He went on to become a journalist, acting as editor-in-chief for the Saham News, the news website of opposition presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi.[2]

In early 2009, Davari began to document abuses at Kahrizak detention center, videotaping statements from prisoners who alleged that they had been raped, abused, and tortured, and posting the interviews on Saham News.[1] By July, the detention center was closed amid public uproar.[1]

On 8 September 2009, however, Davari was arrested when authorities launched a series of raids on the offices of opposition leaders.[3] The Saham News office was sealed, and authorities confiscated documents, computers, and photographs.[4] Davari was later sentenced to five years' imprisonment for "mutiny against the regime", and transferred to Evin Prison.[1] According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), he was then tortured in an attempt to make him testify against Karroubi.[5] Davari's term was later increased by an additional year for his inability to pay a $5,000 fine levied against him for attending a teacher's union protest in 2006.[5] In 2011, ICHRI reported that Davari's health was deteriorating due to the conditions of his confinement, and that he was suffering from severe depression.[5]

Davari's imprisonment received international attention, with Amnesty International,[6] Reporters Without Borders,[4] and the Committee to Protect Journalists[7] all issuing statements on his behalf. The Committee to Protect Journalists also awarded him the 2010 International Press Freedom Award,[1] "an annual recognition of courageous journalism".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Mohammad Davari, Iran". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jailed journalist on hunger strike; opposition party website editor arrested". IFEX. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Nazila Fathi (8 September 2009). "Iranian Opposition Offices Are Raided". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi (9 September 2009). "Iranian cleric rises to become voice of opposition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Journalist Mohammad Davari’s Health Deteriorates in Prison and Family Remains Unable to Visit Him". International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Iran: Rape and Other Torture Victims at Renewed Risk". Amnesty International. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "More than 1,000 press freedom supporters urge Iran to end crackdown". IFEX. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "CPJ International Press Freedom Awards 2011". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.