Martin Bright

Maziar Bahari and Press TV

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The latest outrage committed by the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV is its coverage of the arrest of film maker and journalist Maziar Bahari.

Maziar, a Canadian-Iranian, was arrested on June 21 and paraded on TV nine days later "confessing" to his role in a western plot to destabilise the Iranian regime. He had provided footage of the crackdown on protestors to Channel 4.

I am loathe to encourage readers to look at the Press TV site, so check out the story at The Spittoon, an excellent website opposed to clerical fascism. The author of the piece, "shikwa", concludes:

"How can anyone continue doubting the bias of Press TV which spews this rubbish at the behest of its clerical-fascist backers? [...]Of course, we all knew long before the rigged elections that Press TV was little more than an organ for the Iranian regime but its slavish regurgitation of Tehran’s nonsense in recent weeks has reached new heights."

Index on Censorship has been following Maziar's case closely and has written about his arrest  and his "confession".

This is a highly sensitive matter. Clearly, there is a risk that a campaign by British journalists for the release of Maziar will simply make things worse for him.

But as the Iranian crackdown follows a familiar authoritarian pattern with the arrest and torture of intellectuals, writers and journalists it is difficlut to remain silent.