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July 1, 2011
Germany demands release of journalist
Germany demands release of journalist

The German government said on Wednesday it was "outraged" by the arrest of an Iranian female sports journalist last week who had planned to travel to Germany to report on the women's World Cup.

Berlin's top human rights official, Markus Loening, said in a statement that her detention appeared to be linked to reporter Maryam Majd's outspoken advocacy for women in sport as well as a general crackdown on feminists.

"It can be no coincidence that Ms Majd, who had openly lobbied for the active participation of women in sports events, was jailed by Iranian security forces on the eve of her planned departure," he said, saying he was "outraged" by the arrest.

"This is a further sad example of intimidation and oppression of women's rights activists by the Iranian regime."

He said Iranian film-maker and feminist Mahnas Mohammadi had also been arrested, on June 26, while fellow activists Maryam Bahrman, Mansoureh Behkish and Zahra Yazdani had "disappeared in recent weeks".

Loening called for immediate release of Majd and "all other detained women's rights activists" and urged the Iranian government "finally to uphold human and civil rights obligations to which it has agreed".

Majd is accredited to cover the World Cup hosted by Germany and had been due to work with former Germany player Petra Landers on a photo album about the three-week long tournament which started Sunday, according to SID, an AFP subsidiary.



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