Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn of journalist Jila Bani Yaghoob’s announced release after the authorities deemed that she had completed the one-year jail sentence she received from a Tehran court on 22 October 2010.
Bani Yaghoob had been held since 2 September 2012, when she was summoned to Tehran’s Evin prison to begin serving the sentence. She is now subject to a 30-year ban on working as a journalist, the second component of the sentence imposed in October 2010.
Bani Yaghoob and her husband, fellow journalist Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, were originally arrested together on 20 June 2009. Yaghoob was released on bail on 24 August 2009 but her husband remained in detention and was given a five-year jail sentence for articles critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration.
Bani Yaghoob’s “We are journalists” blog was awarded the “Reporters Without Borders Freedom of Expression” prize in 2010 in the BOBs (Best of Blogs) competition that German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle organizes in Berlin.
In 2009, she won the International Women’s Media Foundation’s “Courage in Journalism Award” as well as the International Press Freedom Award from “Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression.”
Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile learned that Foad Sadeghi, the editor of the Baztab Emrooz news website, was released provisionally on 16 June, a month after his arrest on 18 May. Ali Ghazali, the site’s publisher, who was arrested on 4 May, has also been released.
Said Madani, a sociologist who had written dozens of articles for independent media, was sentenced by a Tehran court on 18 June to six years in prison followed by 10 years of internal exile in the southern city of Bandar Abass.
Madani has been held since 7 January 2012, when plainclothes men arrested him at his Tehran home. He spent a year in solitary confinement in Evin prison’s notorious Section 209.