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Worldwide Condemnations Of Iran's Plot To Abduct Journalist In NY

Following the revelation about the Islamic Republic of Iran's Intelligence Ministry's plot to kidnap Iranian-American journalist Massih Alinejad from New York city from, as well as abducting other Iranian journalists from Canada and the United Kingdom, international journalists unions and writers associations have voiced outrage.

Iranian journalists working abroad have also lashed out at the Iranian government for the shameful plot and similar moves such as the abduction of journalist Rouhollah Zam from France and activist Jamshid Sharmahd from Germany.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) wrote in a tweet: Four Iranian nationals were indicted yesterday on charges of plotting to abduct journalist Masih Alinejad in New York and smuggle her out of the country to Iran. We stand in solidarity with Massih Alinejad and press freedom."

In a reply to the post, Twitter user Alex Fernando wrote: " It’s finally the time for all of us to stand firm and stand united against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and together put an end to 40+ years of fear, darkness, killings and tortures. Enough is enough." Many Iranian users also wrote similar notes in Persian or English on social media all day on Wednesday.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wrote in a series of tweeted: "As news breaks today that Iranian intelligence agents plotted to abduct exiled journalist and women’s rights activist, Massih Alinejad, RSF condemns this treacherous plot to silence a journalist who has long been critical of the regime in Tehran." 

Earlier this week, RSF had called for an international commission of enquiry into the persecution of journalists in Iran as judicial system has been entrusted to Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, a hardline judge implicated in the murder of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi in custody in Iran in July 2003.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the United Kingdom, "called for end to harassment of journalists by Iranian state."

The NUJ wrote on its website: "The case in New York is a salutary reminder of the dangers posed by agents of the Iranian state to journalists...The audacious plot to kidnap Brooklyn-based journalist, Masih Alinejad, smuggle her out of the city on a speedboat, sail to Venezuela and then fly to Tehran shows the extraordinary lengths to which the regime will go to in order to silence their critics and send a chilling message to journalists around the world."

The NUJ added: “We know this is not an isolated case, and the NUJ continues to campaign against the ongoing threats and harassment made to our members here in the UK, working at various newsrooms including…Iran International and the BBC Persian Service. They have been put under inordinate strain, their relatives back in Iran have been weaponised and threatened, and family assets have been frozen. This criminalisation of journalists has to stop, and we continue to work with the International Federation of Journalists at the UN and directly with governments to put an end to this harassment.”

Meanwhile, Iranian journalists based in Europe condemned the act by the Islamic Republic. Firoozeh Jabani wrote that "The way the Islamic Republic suppresses journalists has not changed. It is totally antique and ragged."

Sima Sabet wrote that "With the money the Islamic Republic spent to abduct Massih Alinejad, it could have purchased 150,000 doses of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines."

Kambiz Hosseini, a well-known political satirist wrote that the plot to abduct Massih Alinejad showed the significance of her activism." And journalist Jamshid Barzegar wrote: "During recent months US and UK authorities had warned some Iranian journalists about possible actions by the Islamic Republic. Massih Alinejad was one of those journalists, but she continued her work even more bravely than before."   

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