The arbitrary arrest last week of the Washington Post’s correspondence in Tehran, Jason Razaian, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and another American couple, both photojournalists, immediately hit the international head-lines.
Their plight is a salutary reminder of how dangerous journalism is in Iran. There are dozens of Iranian journalists in prison; most of them charged with writing ‘propaganda against the state’, a very broad category.
Most of them would not be Christians. They are ordinary people trying to make a living. But, in common with Christians, their life can be hijacked by a government whose government is paranoid about controlling information and people..
So, like Christians, they face the knock on the door, the confiscation of their lap tops and mobile phones, the fierce interrogations, sometimes solitary confinement and always grim prison conditions
They too need our prayers. Here are the names of those who have recently been arrested or started a prison sentence.
Mahnaz Mohammadi: the documentary film maker has started a five year sentence.
Marzieh Rasouli: a two year sentence at Evin Prison; also sentenced to 50 lashes.
Sarajeddin Mirdamadi: just begun a six year sentence.
Reihaneh Tabatabei: one month into a six month sentence in Evin Prison.
Saba Azarpeik: arrested in May; only one call to family; sentence unknown.