The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is calling for the immediate release of Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz, the Al Jazeera reporter who was deported to Iran by the Syrian government.
The Campaign maintains that the Islamic Republic “should provide a transparent account of Parvaz’s detention and allow access to her family and the Canadian embassy.”
Parvaz, an Al-Jazeera reporter of Iranian descent, was arrested in Syria two weeks ago and later extradited to Iran.
Parvaz, who also holds American and Canadian citizenship, was arrested on April 20 as soon as she arrived at Damascus International Airport from Doha to cover the recent Syrian unrest.
Syrian authorities had previously told Al Jazeera that they would release the 39-year-old reporter.
In a press release on Tuesday, the Syrian embassy in Washington announced that Parvaz had intended to enter Syria illegally on an expired Iranian passport and therefore she was extradited to Iran.
The communiqué added that Parvaz was sent to Tehran “on May 1 through the Iranian consulate with Caspian Airlines on flight 7905.”
On Wednesday, Al Jazeera released a statement saying: “We are calling for information from the Iranian authorities, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release. We have had no contact with Dorothy since she left Doha on 29 April and we are deeply concerned for her welfare.”
“Ms. Parvaz appears to have committed no crime warranting Iranian authorities to prolong her detainment,” said Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
He added: “We are extremely concerned about her well-being. It is alarming that neither her family nor Al Jazeera has had any contact with her, although she has been in Iran for twelve days.”
Parvaz’s family also made a public appeal for her release.
Homa Parvaz is a journalism graduate of the University of British Columbia and of Arizona and has been working for Al Jazeera since 2010.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran stresses that, “Regardless of Syria’s reasons for turning away Ms. Parvaz, Iranian authorities should respect international law and release her. There is absolutely no justification for detaining her in Iran.”