National Press Club

National Press Club Cheers Reports That Imprisoned Iranian Blogger Was Freed

December 14, 2010

The National Press Club today is cheering reports that Kouhyar Goudarzi, an Iranian blogger imprisoned for the last year in Teheran's notorious Evin Prison, has been released.

Goudarzi was the international winner of the Club's 2010 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.

According to Iran's Committee of Human Rights Reporters and other sources, Goudarzi was set free after being jailed since last December. He had been charged with "heresy," a capital crime, "propagating" against the regime and "congregation and mutiny with intent to disrupt national security." Goudarzi was reportedly put into solitary confinement in May 2010, after which even his mother was no longer allowed to visit him.

"The release of Kouhyar Goudarzi is a relief to people who believe in free speech and a free press everywhere," said Alan Bjerga, president of the National Press Club. "We pray that he is well, and we demand that Iran release others who are unjustly imprisoned. We look forward to presenting him our press-freedom award in person when he is able to receive it. We also look forward to the day when the circumstances that prompted his receiving that award no longer exist for any journalist."

The U.S. winner of this year's press-freedom award was Charles Davis, a University of Missouri journalism professor and longtime advocate of open government.