Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) September 16, 2009 -- An Iran journalist has been in solitary confinement for three weeks, in Tehran's Evin Prison. Fariba Pajouh had been writing her personal views on her blog 'Beyond The Rain'.
Pajouh's was arrested by agents from Iran's intelligence ministry, at her family's home on the first day of Ramadan. Her father said his daughter is believed to be under heavy pressure to confess to indecent conduct, a charge commonly made against female prisoners. Opposition protesters are expected to take to the streets on the one day of the year set aside in Iran for public protests against Israel.
In Afghanistan, journalist, Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 24 has been pardoned and released from jail.
In 2007 Kambakhsh was arrested and sentenced to die for downloading an analysis of what the Koran says about women, from the Internet. That sentence was altered to 20 years by an appeals court in October 2008. The sentence was again upheld in a further appeal in March. Now Kambakhsh has been granted a pardon by President Hamid Karzai.
In Iraq, Muntazer al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his size 10 shoe at George Bush, during his last visit to Iraq, shouted "This is your farewell kiss you dog. This is for the widows and orphans of Iraq". Zaidi had prepared himself to receive an American bullet and was not afraid to die. He always felt he would be killed either by al-Qaeda or the Americans.
Iraq is preparing a heroâs welcome home for Zaidi, after only 9 months in prison, in spite of the Iraqi government having been embarrassed by the incident. Political pressure was applied to remove a large statue of the shoe.
Zaidi received a three year sentence. This was reduced to one year on appeal, because he had no criminal record and released three months early because of good behaviour.
Abdul-Hamid al-Sayah, manager of the Cairo-based station and former boss of Zaidi, has built Zaidi a new four-bedroom house. A new car awaits Zaidi, plus pledges of harem. Money and health care are pouring into his ex-employer and the al-Baghdadia television channel. Zaidi has declined offers of a political career.
"The Emir of Qatar promised a golden horse, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (of Libya) said he would award him Libya's highest honour", reported Dargham, Zaidi's brother.
Editor Abdul Hamid al-Saij said, "One Iraqi who lives in Morocco called to offer to send his daughter to be the wife of Zaidi". Another phoned from Saudi Arabia offering $10 million for his shoes. Calls continue to pour in with offers of marriage to the hero.
Zaidi's brother said, âZaidi alleges he was tortured by government officials. He has lost teeth, has two broken ribs and a broken foot has not healed. He will stay in Iraq, but first he has to leave the country to get his health fixed".
Zaidi is planning to open an orphanage when he leaves prison and is interested in working in a humanitarian organization, or becoming an activist for womenâs and orphan's rights.
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