x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai TV reporter arrested in Iran

The Tehran prosecutor confirmed the arrest of an Iran-based reporter working for Dubai TV, two days after he went missing, local media reported.

The Tehran prosecutor confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of an Iran-based reporter working for Dubai TV, two days after he went missing, local media reported. "No one is missing ... a person has been arrested and if the ministry of culture confirms that he had permission to work then he will be freed," the Mehr news agency quoted Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi as saying. Reza al-Basha, a 27-year-old Syrian, was arrested in Tehran during opposition protests, a colleague told AFP on Sunday. Dubai TV had said on Monday that it was awaiting a reply from Tehran authorities regarding the whereabouts of its missing reporter, who has been working for the channel in Iran for a year. The United Arab Emirates journalists association called on Tuesday for the international federation of journalists to "intervene to establish the fate" of Reza al-Basha and "work for his release," in an open letter carried by the official WAM news agency. The foreign press bureau within Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance issues work permits for journalists working for foreign media. In June, shortly after mass protests broke out over hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad's controversial re-election, the foreign press bureau banned journalists working for foreign media from covering opposition demonstrations. Opposition demonstrators clashed again with security forces on Sunday as they used the Shiite holy day of Ashura to mount fresh protests against the government. At least eight people died and more than 300 were arrested, police said. *AFP