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Radio Farda Correspondent In Iran Freed On Bail, Waiting for Return of Passport

(Washington, DC–May 15, 2007) RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin expressed hope that Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima may be able to leave Iran in the near future. Gedmin was reacting to the results of a hearing today in Tehran, where the Revolutionary Court freed Azima on bail pending the continuation of the court’s review of Azima’s case.

Gedmin said, “The court indicated it may return Ms. Azima’s passport. I expect that the court will act to free Azima from her virtual house arrest and allow her to return to her family without further delay.”

Azima’s passport was confiscated upon her arrival at Tehran’s airport in February to visit her ailing mother. She holds U.S. as well as Iranian citizenship.

Azima is a broadcaster with Radio Farda, the joint RFE/RL-Voice of America 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Persian-language broadcast service to Iran. She joined RFE/RL in 1998 and is based at RFE/RL’s broadcast headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. Azima endured a similar situation in Iran during the spring of 2006, when her Iranian passport was seized and held for several weeks before being returned to her.