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Pulitzer Center Update December 3, 2009

Iason Athanasiadis' experience in Iran featured by National Iranian American Council publication


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After a hotly contested presidential election that resulted in street riots and a disputed claim to...

By Lloyd Chebaclo, for the National Iranian American Council

Washington, DC- As a prisoner of Iran's Intelligence Ministry, Iason Athanasiadis witnessed a cultural struggle which he says is "by far the most important aspect of what is going on in Iran today if you want to understand it." Athanasiadis is a freelance journalist who was detained for three weeks in Tehran's Evin Prison following the June presidential election in Iran. He joined Washington Times Assistant Managing Editor Barbara Slavin for a discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center titled "Prisons and Protests: Covering Iran After the Election."

Within a day or two of the announcement of the election results, Athanasiadis said authorities outlawed investigative journalism, making reporting events on the ground a nearly impossible task. Athanasiadis did most of his reporting by running through the streets, contacting whomever he could while keeping a low profile to try to get a sense of the situation.