Attention Foreign Editors
For immediate release 17 January 2002
Release of tape of Iran prison beatings
The truth must be told about killings of journalists
Invitation to press conference, Monday 21 January 2002, 12 noon
The National Union of Journalists will on Monday 21 January release details
of videotapes that throw light on a desperate conspiracy to conceal the
truth about the serial killings of journalists and writers in Iran. Five
were killed between November 1998 and February 1999.
The Iranian authorities announced that "rogue elements" in the security
services had carried out the killings, and some Ministry of Information
employees were tried in secret for the murders. The trial was condemned as
a sham by the victims' families, their lawyer (who was arrested on the eve of
the trial) and human rights and journalists' organisations internationally.
Now copies of videotapes have come into the NUJ's possession that appear to
show these "rogue elements" being beaten and mistreated, and then
confessing to fantastic "crimes" including working for foreign intelligence agencies,
blasphemy, adultery etc.
Parts of the tape will be shown, and transcripts of the most important
sections made available, at Monday's press conference. It will be on Monday
21 January at 12 midday, at the NUJ, 308 Grays Inn Road, London WC1 - near Kings Cross station - and will be addressed by John
Foster (General Secretary, NUJ) and Omid Behrouzi (executive member, campaign group
The International Tribunal on Crimes against Humanity in Iran).
John Foster said: "The tapes constitute evidence of a conspiracy to
concentrate attention away from senior figures in the Islamic regime.
"We are asking the UK government, which is in closer diplomatic contact
with Iran than it has been for many years, to demand assurances on the issue of
press freedom. There must be an independent international inquiry into
these killings. The farcical trial that followed - and on top of that, newspaper
closures, evidence of death squads being sanctioned at the highest level,
and public statements by senior clerics justifying political murders - do
not bode well for democracy or a free press in Iran."