Maziar Bahari is a talented, award-winning Canadian-Iranian documentary filmmaker, playwright, editor, journalist and writer, who has been detained in Iran on June 21, 2009, following Iran’s disputed presidential elections. No charges have been brought against him and he remained isolated from the rest of the world, with no access to a lawyer. On Saturday, 17 October, he was relased on bail. The following Tuesday, 20 October he flew back to London and re-joined his partner.
Maziar Bahari has directed and produced many films for international broadcasters. His creative work has rendered powerful insights into a broad swath of cultures across the world. He is well known not only for his documentaries about Iran but also about neighboring Iraq, where he has recorded many aspects of the U.S. invasion and occupation. As a reporter, Maziar is frequently described as someone who goes to enormous lengths to provide insightful and balanced work, often putting his personal safety at risk in the effort to include a full range of perspectives. He is particularly respected for his ability to peel back the layers of misunderstanding that often threaten to isolate Iran from the West.
During the elections in Iran, Maziar was doing precisely this: recording events and giving as much context as humanly possible. He was one of the few respected journalists invited to attend the first Friday prayers after the election, presided over by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Two days later, at 7 o’clock in the morning, unidentified security agents took him from the home of his 83-year-old mother.
Since Maziar’s detention, he has been held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Other than one call to his wife and a couple of visits by his mother, Maziar has not been allowed any contact with the outside world. Our only other news of Maziar since June 21 has come via the Iranian state press, which claimed that Maziar had “confessed” to unwittingly playing a role in a Western media effort to instigate unrest after the presidential elections. We clearly reject the validity of this “statement,” which contradicts Maziar’s record and the values we know he holds dear.
Maziar’s accomplishments were honoured as a finalist to the prestigious 2009 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord. His nomination was supported, among others, by Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
From an early age, Maziar has made it a mission to travel and build bridges between different cultures throughout the world. He is a man of integrity and principle–an independent thinker. Professionally and socially, Maziar has always proved himself to be open-minded, tolerant and caring with strong family values. This website was dedicated to helping raise awareness of Maziar’s current plight.