German Journalists Association calls for immediate release of journalists arrested in Iran

German Journalists Association calls for immediate release of journalists arrested in Iran

The German Journalists Association has strongly rejected the accusations of spying against two Germans detained in Iran in connection with a highly publicized stoning case and called for their immediate release, the Associated Press reported.

The German Foreign Ministry reported today that employees of the German Consulate in Tehran have already met with the arrested journalists and talks are underway regarding their release.

East Azerbaijan Prosecutor Hojjatoleslam Malek Ajdar Sharifi said that the spy activtiies of the two German journalists have been proved, the Mehr news agency reported. 

They traveled to Iran with tourist visas, but their activities in Tabriz proved that they were spying.

"They were detained while interviewing the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani," he added.

In October, two German nationals, posing as reporters on tourist visas, contacted the Mohammadi-Ashtiani family and interviewed her son. The two were detained after a person close to the family alerted authorities of their "suspicious" behavior, he said earlier.

Sharifi added that the behavior of the Germans proves that they entered Iran as spies and tried to create a negative atmosphere against Iran.

Sharifi did not name the arrestees, adding that the use of fake journalist ID cards is illegal in Iran and the arrestees have plead guilty.

The two were arrested last month while interviewing the son and lawyer of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery. Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder of her husband the year before and she was sentenced at the time to 99 lashes.

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