Over 150 Iranian writers, translators and journalists called on Iran’s Head of Judiciary to release Ahmad Gholami, prominent Iranian writer and editor-in chief of Shargh newspaper.

ILNA reports that in an open letter, over 150 distinguished Iranian writers, translators and journalists urged Ayatollah Amoli Larijani to release their peer, Ahmad Gholami and stress that the arrest of Gholami, who amongst his peers is known for his “moderation and refrain from creating conflicts”, is a shock to them all.

The signatories write that Gholami has served his country for years both in the war and through his contribution to the genre of war literature and express concern over the “vagueness” of the charges against him.

Gholami was suddenly arrested about two weeks ago and so far the judiciary has not clarified the charges against him.

Gholami served in the eight Iran-Iraq War and many of his stories are concerned with the events he experienced at this time. He is also one of the founders of the Writers and Critics Press Award and a prominent figure in the cultural journalism of the country.

Younes Tarakemeh, another prominent Iranian writer has commented on Gholami’s good character writing:“Ahmad Gholami served in the war front like many others, saw his companions fall as they fought side by side, saw blood, saw corpses and several times brushed up against death; but unlike many of those others, at the end of the war, he did not feel anyone was indebted to him. He did not revenge himself on his neighbours and fellow citizens for all those years of wrestling down death. He did not burn down bookstores and close down cinemas out of anger for all he had suffered at war, and he did not open fire and draw sword on others who had not gone to the war front.”

In the past year and a half, Iranian newspapers and journalists have become the target of a severe government crackdown as the establishment is tightening its fist around the progressive forces in the country.