An open letter to the head of Iran’s judiciary
Index on Censorship calls for the release of film maker Mahnaz Mohammadi and actress and documentary maker Pegah Ahangarani
15 Jul 11

Letter to Ayatollah Larijani 

from Index on CensorshipArticle 19, Committee to Protect Journalists,
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Your Excellency


We are writing to express our concern about the recent wave of arrests of journalists and film makers in Iran. In particular, we would like to draw your attention to the detention of film maker Mahnaz Mohammadi, and actress and documentary maker Pegah Ahangarani.

We believe that Mahnaz Mohammadi is being detained in Evin prison. She was arrested at her home in Tehran on 26 June. We are concerned by reports that she has been denied access to her family and to legal representation; she has a critical health condition which requires medical attention.

Actress and film-maker Pegah Ahangarani was arrested this week.

We are concerned that they are detained without charge, without access to a lawyer and, where required, without the necessary medical treatment. We ask you to release them immediately.

Their arrests increase the growing number of artists, journalists and human rights activists currently in prison in Iran, a country that is currently consolidating its reputation as the leading jailer of journalists in the world, along with China.

We would like to remind you of Iran’s obligations under international law. Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which recognises the right to freedom of expression and states that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. We ask you to honour Iran’s commitments and to release all prisoners of conscience who are unjustly detained.



Jo Glanville Editor, Index on Censorship

Dr Agnès Callamard, Article 19 Executive Director

Joel Simon Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Annie Game Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression