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Pulitzer Center Update June 29, 2009

Pulitzer Center journalist detained in Iran


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

Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center

The Iranian government has confirmed the detention of Pulitzer Center grantee Iason Athanasiadis, who had been in Iran covering the elections as a free-lancer for The Washington Times, Global Post and other outlets.

IasonJPG The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting has supported Iason Athanasiadis' travel over the past nine months, primarily in Turkey but also in Greece and, most recently, his trip to Iran.

Iason is a Greek citizen, a dedicated journalist, and someone who loves Iran, a country where he lived for three years while earning a master's degree. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2007-08.

He has written on the clash of cultures in Turkey and on political unrest in Greece. In Iran it was his hope to stay on past the elections, exploring that country's relationship with the region and drawing on the many contacts he made during his years as a foreign resident in Tehran.

Multilingual, comfortable with both broadcast and print, relentlessly fair-minded, Iason is among the most versatile and sensitive journalists with whom the Pulitzer Center has worked. We join his family and friends in urging his immediate release.

Jon Sawyer, Executive Director
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

UPDATE: The Nieman Foundation for Journalism has also called for Iason's release.