Global Call to Free Maziar Bahari in Iran

8/01 UPDATE: NEWSWEEK's Maziar Bahari, detained in Iran since June 21, has appeared in court today as part of a mass trial of detainees arrested in the wake of protests after the contested reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to Iranian state news agencies, Bahari repeated statements made earlier about an alleged Western media effort to guide events in Iran after the election. Whether he has been charged, or what the specific charges against him may be, remains unclear.
"We are extremely dismayed at this turn of events," said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. "Maziar's journalistic work in Iran has always been balanced and objective, and has been conducted with the full knowledge and accreditation of the proper Iranian authorities. His fairness has been evident throughout his decade-long career, and has never been in question."
In the last six weeks Bahari has not been allowed to meet with a lawyer, and he was not afforded proper legal representation at the proceedings today. Under such circumstances any statements he may make cannot be accepted at face value. NEWSWEEK calls upon the government of Iran to afford Mr. Bahari access to a lawyer immediately, and continues to believe that he should be released.

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