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Detained Iranian-Americans admitted carrying out 'activities': Iranian judge

[JURIST] An Iranian judge said Wednesday that two detained Iranian-Americans [JURIST news archive] had admitted to carrying out some "activities," but it is not clear if this is tantamount to admission of spying. In an interview with Iran's ISNA news agency [official website, in Persian], Judge Hossein Haddad, security deputy of Tehran's public and revolutionary court, said that Dr. Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile] and Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh [OSI press release] "accepted that they carried out some activities." Haddad also said that Radio Farda [media website] correspondent Parnaz Azima was being held for cooperating with "anti-revolutionary" media, but a Reuters source later confirmed that she had been released on bail.

Numerous officials, including US President George W. Bush [statement] have called for the release [JURIST report] of the three scholars and one journalist who were arrested last month. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation for Human Rights, and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi [advocacy websites] have also issued a joint statement [text] calling for their release. Esfandari was charged [JURIST report] on May 21, while Azima and Tajbakhsh were charged [JURIST report] May 29. Reuters has more.

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