The Times reports:
The parents of a British-Greek journalist detained in Iran appealed for his release today insisting that their son was not a spy.
Iason Athanasiadis, also known as Jason Fowden, was arrested at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran at the end of last week on charges of “underground activities”. He had been about to fly out of the country after covering the election and its violent aftermath for The Washington Times.
Mr Fowden is the latest victim of a state-ordered media blackout that has seen dozens of journalists taken into custody and many more expelled.
Iran’s state news agency quoted a Culture Ministry official as saying: “I call on foreign reporters to work within our laws when travelling to Iran for news coverage… because if they act against national security and spy, they will be arrested by security institutions and handed over to the judiciary.”
But Mr Fowden’s Greek mother, Polymnia Athanasiadi, and British father, Georgios Fowden, said in a statement yesterday that their son had “always maintained his integrity as an independent journalist”.
They added: “His work serves no purpose other than the fair and humane coverage of life in the many countries where he has worked.”
Mr Fowden has covered Iran since 2004 and has contributed articles and photographs to The Guardian, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, and GlobalPost.
In an article published on The Guardian website on June 16, Mr Fowden described a “city literally divided” as supporters of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his defeated challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi faced off. His last article, a profile of Mousavi, ran in The Washington Times one day later.