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Al Jazeera journalist deported from Syria to Iran

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The Al Jazeera satellite television network has reported that its journalist Dorothy Parvaz, previously held by Syria, has been deported to Iran.

The Al Jazeera satellite television network has reported that its journalist Dorothy Parvaz, previously held by Syria, has been deported to Iran.

The information was received from Syrian officials who had previously told Al Jazeera they were holding Parvaz in Damascus, and that she would be released.

Parvaz, 39, based in Doha, Qatar, for Al Jazeera since August 2010, was sent to Syria to report on antigovernment demonstrations there. The journalist, who holds Iranian, U.S. and Canadian citizenship, was detained on arrival in Damascus two weeks ago, and has had no contact with the outside world since, Al Jazeera said.

"We have now received information that she is being held in Tehran," the news network said. "We are calling for information from the Iranian authorities, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release. We have had no contact with Dorothy since she left Doha on April 29 and we are deeply concerned for her welfare."

The Iranian government has not commented officially on Parvaz' whereabouts. Sources in Iran say the government is likely to make a statement on the situation soon.

Syrian newspaper Al Vatan said Parvaz had been detained ostensibly because she had arrived in Damascus on a tourist visa and not a journalist visa.

Syria has cracked down on the activities of journalists in the wake of the recent political unrest in the country.

The journalist's family said: "Dorothy is a dearly loved daughter, sister and fiancee, and a committed journalist. It is now nearly two weeks since she was detained. We appeal once again for Dorothy to be released immediately and returned to us."

Dorothy, who previously reported for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, had probably been traveling on her Iranian passport, her fiance Todd Barker said earlier.

 

MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti)

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