ink on paper
10" x 7"
$188 (framed or unframed)
Faraj Sarkouhi, former editor-in-chief of the Iranian socio-literary
journal Adineh, was detained by authorities and held incommunicado after trying
a Berlin-bound flight from Tehran's Mehrabad Airport in November 1996. Following
inquiries from groups such as the international fellowship of writers, PEN, he
reappeared after seven weeks of intensive interrogation that included beatings
and death threats. Arrested again in late January 1997, he was held for nine
months before being convicted at trial of "slandering the Islamic Republic" and
sentenced to one year in prison.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied requests by Amnesty International to send
a delegate to observe the proceedings, as well as similar requests by the group
to enter Iran for fact-finding, trial observations and government talks have
been denied since 1979. Freedom of statement has been particularly threatened
in Iran in recent years. In 2000, police detained at least 34 journalists, writers
and human rights defenders, and 12 of these were sentenced to prison terms following
what were widely suspected to be unfair trials. In the same year, 30 publications
were ordered closed or suspended. Faraj Sarkouhi and other signatories of the "1994
Declaration of 134 Iranian Writers," calling for freedom of statement and
an end to literary censorship in Iran, have benefited from the international
scrutiny that his case has drawn. Released from prison in 1998 and finally reunited
with his family in Germany, he serves as an enduring figure for journalistic
freedom in Iran.
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