Radio Farda officials say Iranian authorities are refusing to return the passport of correspondent Parnaz Azima and allow her to leave the country, though she and her family have posted a bail bond.
Her lawyer told Radio Farda this week that the $440,000 bond set by the court was “unprecedented” in Iran. Aghasi said the case against Azima has no basis.
RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin said the courts there appear to be stalling and that Azima was traveling on private business when her passport was seized. “I find it ludicrous that Iranian authorities feel the need to criminalize a daughter’s desire to visit her severely ill mother,” he stated.
U.S. diplomats and Swiss colleagues in Tehran, he said, have been working to resolve the situation.
The prosecutor’s office has called Radio Farda an organization that “spreads propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” Her passport was confiscated when she arrived in February. She holds U.S. as well as Iranian citizenship. She joined RFE/RL in 1998 and is based in Prague.