New York Times Calls for Maziar Bahari's Release

The New York Times editorial today calls on Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to free our Man in Iran, Maziar Bahari. Maziar was detained over two months ago while covering Iran's disputed elections and the protests and government crackdowns that followed.

Among those unjustly detained is Maziar Bahari, a respected documentary filmmaker and correspondent for Newsweek who has been in prison since June 21. A native Iranian who is now a Canadian citizen, Mr. Bahari has not been officially charged and has not been allowed to see a lawyer. Yet he was forced to confess that he and others took part in a "velvet coup" engineered by the West to oust Mr. Ahmadinejad. Such charges are blatantly false.

Mr. Bahari's work as a journalist and a filmmaker is internationally recognized. As he endures Tehran's grim Evin prison, he is a finalist this week for Spain's coveted Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, given to groups or individuals for encouraging and promoting the "scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage." He was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa ...

... Mr. Bahari and the rest of the detainees must be released immediately and allowed to do their work and freely speak their minds.

We couldn't agree more. If you do, too, please join the Facebook group, sign the petition, and read up about Maziar. Here is our latest update on his status, penned by Middle East Editor Chris Dickey. When the U.N. General Assembly convenes in New York later this month, let's remind the Iranian government that we need accomplished, fair, sensitive journalists like Maziar out in the field doing their jobs.