The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for immediate release of Dorothy Parvaz, a journalist working for the channel's English-language service, whom Syria deported today to Iran, the Committee's oficial site reported.
"Syria's apparent deportation of Dorothy Parvaz to Iran when she is also a citizen of the U.S. and Canada, is an irresponsible choice," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "Given Iran's abysmal press freedom record, we are concerned about Parvaz's well-being. Iranian authorities must immediately release Parvaz, who has committed no crime."
On Wednesday, May 11, a statement from the Al-Jazeera news network said Parvaz has been deported from Syria to Iran, where she also has citizenship, and is now being held in Tehran.
39-year-old Parvaz arrived in Syria on April 29 and has not been heard from since. Parvaz, a U.S., Canadian, and Iranian national, was held incommunicado by an unidentified security service. On May 4, Damascus acknowledged that she was in custody, although regional media reports indicate that she was sent to Iran on May 1. Iran, together with China, is the world's top jailer of journalists in 2010, according to CPJ research.