International Community Still Silent on Detainment of Iran’s Documentarians

October 9, 2003
TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -- On July 1 U.S.-led troops arrested Soheil Karimi and Saeid Aboutaleb, reporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and their interpreter and driver near the town of Diwaniyah where they were filming a documentary. After 100 days, they are still held in detention. Following includes the comments of several Iranian citizens on requesting the release of the two filmmakers.

* Managing director of the daily “Nassim-e Saba” stated that the two detained documentarians Saeid Aboutaleb and Soheil Karimi are the two active members of IRIB. “These two are Iranians and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is duty-bound to follow up the case,“ added Majid Qassemi Feyzabadi.

* Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Press Affairs, Mohammad Sohofi asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strive for the release of the detained filmmakers. He further noted that President Khatami has seriously asked for the follow-up of the case. He mentioned that a committee has been set up to follow up the case.

* Director and head of the Public Relations Office of Iran’s Drama House stated that he is surprised to see the U.S. who claims to be a civilized and democratic country treating this way with the detained filmmakers. Kioumars Moradi further noted that the world is talking of security for the journalists while this is not true with the two detained Karimi and Aboutaleb.

* Contemporary poet Hamid Sabzevari is also convinced that the world is silent on the oppression inflicted on our Islamic country and the people of Iran must not remain silent and it is people who should help release the filmmakers.

* Pop singer Alireza Assar pinpointed that the journalists have security all over the world and this should be observed for the two detainees as well. Praising the endeavors of the officials, he hoped that the two filmmakers would return home immediately.

* Contemporary poetess Simindokht Vahidi voiced her opinion over the arrest of the two that the world should react against the issue seriously. She noted that the two filmmakers are the two oppressed citizens of the country who have been held in detention for 100 days and they must return home immediately. * Editor-in-chief of Farahng-e Ashti (Culture of Peace) newspaper, Mohsen Afshari said, “It is a sad reality that the international community has kept silent on this issue; Iranian Foreign Ministry has to use an efficient diplomacy to free the Iranian documentarians detained by the U.S.-led forces in Iraq.”

* The writer of sacred defense genre Mohsen Motlaq asked the world art and cultural figures to condemn the U.S. move in detainment of the Iranian documentarians.

“We must internationalize this problem and it is a human duty for every arte and cultural figure in the world not to be indifferent toward the issue,” he said.

* “Detainment of the Iranian documentarians showed that the U.S. does not respect human rights,” said Kazem Pouya, the Iranian painter.

The weapon of an artist is his instrument; the weapons the documentarians were using were their cameras, with which they had taken pictures which the U.S. forces are seeking to suppress, he added.

* “We should not let the issue slip by,” the Iranian children’s poet an author Ja’far Ebrahimi said.

“There was no news on the question in papers and media for a while; I thought the documentarians have been liberated,” he added.