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Media Watchdogs Call On Romania To Prosecute Fugitive Iran Judge

Gholamreza Mansouri, a notorious prosecutor and judge, has been accused of human rights violations against Iranian journalists.

In a statement on Monday, the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) called on the Romanian authorities to take judicial action against judge Gholamreza Mansouri for human rights violations against media and journalists in Iran.

“Crimes against journalists can’t go unpunished. Many journalists denounced the crimes of Gholamreza Mansouri against them and now it’s time for justice. Together with several journalists’ associations and groups, we urge the Romanian government and prosecutors not to extradite Mansouri to Iran and to respond to the call of victimised journalists and prosecute Mansouri for his human rights violations,” IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger was quoted in the statement as saying.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) has also asked Romania to help bring Mansouri to justice for offenses against journalists. On June 11, RSF lodged an official complaint with the German federal judicial authorities against Mansouri who was rumored to be in Germany.

Mansouri, a former prosecutor and judge of Iran's Culture and Media Court, was involved in dozens of cases of jailing and torturing journalists and shutting down media. In 2013 he ordered the mass arrest of 20 journalists in one day.

Iran wants the notorious judge who is under police surveillance in Romania to be extradited to Iran for his involvement in a corruption case and allegedly taking 500,000 euros in bribes. On Tuesday Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri said Mansouri should be put on trial in Iran and defend himself against bribe-taking allegations.

Journalists and rights activists, however, want Mansouri who fled the country before the corruption trial began to be prosecuted in Europe for his violations of human rights as Iran will never put him on trial for the crimes committed against journalists.

According to the IFJ, in a very severe case, Mansouri ordered the arrest and torture of family members of GEM TV’s president, Saeed Karimian, who was shot dead on April 29, 2017 in Istanbul.

In a statement GEM claimed that Mansouri had jailed Karimian's siblings in a bid to force him to shut down the entertainment channel. Karimian's siblings stayed in detention and were tortured although Karimian ceased broadcasting for 10 days, GEM said.