An Al Jazeera journalist detained for 19 days–three in Syria and then 16 in Iran–has given her first interview to Al Jazeera English since being released by Iranian officials Wednesday. Dorothy Parvaz, returned to AJE headquarters in Doha, says her experience mirrors that for many in Syria: sudden, unexplained arrests, captivity without any way of contacting friends, employers or family, and routine physical abuse. “The beatings I heard around the clock were savage,” she said.
Parvaz arrived in Syria April 29 to report on anti-government demonstrations and quickly disappeared. She was held and interrogated in Damascus, then deported to Iran. In today’s interview, she seemed emotionally strong and physically fit, but said the experience was intended to terrify. “The first night I was there they took me out into a courtyard, blindfolded and handcuffed for that purpose, to scare me.” She says she was suspected of being a U.S. spy for Israel, and was taken “kicking and screaming” to Iran, where she was treated as a spy. She says she was not abused and was provided medical treatment.
Watch it here, from Al Jazeera:
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