Al Jazeera reporter Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz was released today by Iranian authorities, following a three-week news blackout that left the outside world clueless about her situation.
Al Jazeera reports that Parvaz, who had been arrested in Damascus on April 29 and held incommunicado, arrived in Doha on May 18 on a flight from Iran.
"I’m delighted to let you know that Dorothy Parvaz has been released and is safe and well and back with us in Doha,” an Al Jazeera spokesman said. “She has been in contact with her family, and we are with her now to find out more about her ordeal over the last 19 days.”
Todd Barker, Parvaz’s fiance, told Al Jazeera: “We are grateful to the Iranian officials that she was treated well, and she confirmed that.” He added that Parvaz will soon leave for Canada, where her family lives.
Yesterday, Iran’s foreign ministry announced that Parvaz had committed three visa violations, which included entering Syria with an expired passport and press visa, as well as carrying two other passports.
Iranian-born Parvaz also carried Canadian and U.S. citizenship.
Parvaz joined Al Jazeera in 2010 and had travelled to Syria on assignment to cover the recent upheaval.
In Syrian most foreign journalists are banned from covering the unrest.
The Associated Press reported that two of its journalists were given 45-minutes notice to leave the country. They added that five Reuters journalists “faced detention and intimidation, including one who was expelled by Syrian authorities on March 25 after five years as the agency’s correspondent in Damascus.”