Sunday, July 05, 2009

Iason Athanasiadis Freed - The PressTV Version

Iran releases Washington Times reporter
Sun, 05 Jul 2009 15:22:04 GMT
Iran says that a Greek Washington Times journalist detained following post-election unrest in the country has been released.

“Because of the humanitarian efforts made by Iran's envoy to Greece and Iran's envoy to the United Nations, the Greek journalist was released today,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told state television on Sunday.

The official said the photojournalist, Iason Athanasiadis, who was covering the events in Iran following the June 12 vote, had been arrested over “unethical and unprofessional behavior and his role in fuelling the recent unrest,” IRIB news agency reported.

Qashqavi stressed, however, that formal charges against Athanasiadis were over his illegal entrance into the country, after being barred from crossing into the country in an earlier row with the authorities.

He did not elaborate on the subject but added that he had used his British passport on the other occasion.

Iranian authorities had earlier said Athanasiadis had been detained for exceeding the duration of his visa to stay in Iran.

The landslide victory of re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been challenged by his rivals, who reject the results as fraudulent.

Unrest broke out when hundreds of thousands of their supporters took to streets to demand a recount. The rallies have lost momentum since last Sunday but the president's chief rival, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has since questioned the “political legitimacy” of the Ahmadinejad administration.


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