Iranian Deutsche Welle blogger set free | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 27.07.2011
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Iranian Deutsche Welle blogger set free

After two weeks, Deutsche Welle blogger Pegah Ahangarani has been released from Iranian custody. But the charges against her still aren't clear.

Pegah Ahagarani speaking during an event at Deutsche Welle

The dissident Iranian actress was arrested as she prepared to leave for Germany

Hamid Hekmat, the expatriate uncle of Pegah Ahangarani confirmed on Wednesday that his niece has been released on bail for 58,000 euros ($83,000).

"Yesterday evening the family was told that they she could be brought home now. She is free at last," he said. He wasn't able to give more precise information about the condition of the actress, writer and film-maker.

It is also unknown whether the Iranian judiciary will pursue the case further. Ahangarani was allowed no legal representation during her detention.

The 27-year-old was supposed to blog for Deutsche Welle's Farsi service about the Women's World Cup in Germany. On the night of July 12, one day before her departure from Tehran, she received a subpoena from the Information Ministry. There, she was threatened with arrest.

Ahangarani didn't travel to Germany the next day. So as not to endanger her, Deutsche Welle discontinued the joint blog project. Despite this, she was arrested a little later.

Pegah Ahangarani

The actor still doesn't know why she was arrested

Artists under pressure

Ahangarani is not the only Iranian artist who has been arrested in recently. Vafamehr Marzi, a 38-year-old actor, was also arrested for a role she played in a film critical of Iranian society.

According to Iranian prosecutors, both actors were arrested "following official investigations by the security authorities" and were released on bail following preliminary investigations.

The arrest of Ahangarani had been ordered by a security authority. "The media should not give the impression that two artists have been arrested. It is not about their profession, but about the individuals and their crimes," Iran's prosecutor general, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei, said in a statement.

National and international responses

Ahangarani's arrest sparked outrage among politicians and international human rights organizations. In the German parliament, the Social Democratic Party demanded an explanation from the Iranian government. The Iranian film organization, the "House of Cinema," called the arrest of the young documentary filmmaker a "tragedy."

Ahangarani supported the opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, during the disputed presidential election in Iran 2009. After the re-election of the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian artist was summoned by the security authorities for interrogation.

Author: Bayat Parsa / smh
Editor: Chi Viet Giang

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