Iran holds 2 Germans linked to stoning case

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Mr. Mehmanparast said it was up to Iran’s powerful, hard-line judiciary to explain where the two Germans are being held. The judiciary said Monday only that it arrested two foreigners who had entered the country on tourist visas and did not have documents to prove they were journalists.

A spokesman for the German Journalists' Association demanded their release.

“One has to see that freedom of press does not exist in Iran, that is extremely dangerous for foreign journalists to carry out critical reporting there,” Hendrik Zoerner told AP Television News on Tuesday.

There are only a handful of Western journalists still allowed to work in Iran, and authorities can abruptly withdraw their accreditation.

Leading Spanish daily El Pais said Monday its correspondent in Tehran, Angeles Espinosa — one of the paper’s top foreign reporters— had her residency permit canceled Sunday and was given two weeks to leave the country. She has been posted there for the past five years.

El Pais says Ms. Espinosa was detained in July after interviewing Ahmad Montazeri, son of a late dissident cleric. Back then she had her press pass taken away but was led to believe she would get it back after the summer holidays. But on returning to Tehran, authorities took away her passport for three weeks. They returned the passport Sunday but with residency permit canceled and an order to leave Iran.

Associated Press writer Alina Wolfe Murray in Bucharest, Romania, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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