Iranian jounalist Farid Salavati, who was arrested last week after reporting on a gang rape in Khomeini Shahr, was released today.
Iran Green Voice website reports that Salavati was arrested on June 12 and was being interrogated over the past week.
Two weeks ago in Khomeini Shahr, near the central Iranian city of Esfahan, a group of men crashed a party, locked all the men in a room, and then raped all the women.
Colonel Hossein Hosseinzadeh, the head of the Esfahan provincial police, told ISNA: “The police believe that some of the victims brought this crime upon themselves.” He added: “If the ladies at this party had adhered at least to the minimum hijab [Islamic dress code], they might not have suffered sexual assaults.”
Iranian women’s rights activists have strongly challenged this statement.
The negative publicity surrounding the case prompted Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran’s judiciary, to issue special orders that the case be processed immediately.
Meanwhile, yesterday brought the temporary release of Hengameh Shahidi, another journalist arrested in 2009 during the crackdown on elections protests.
Shahidi had been sentenced to six years in prison for “propaganda against the regime, assembly and action against national security and insulting the president.”
According to Reporters Without Borders Iran is the biggest jailor of journalists, and in the past two years, hundreds of journalists have fled Iran due to threats to their security.