DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, (AP)– Syrian officials told Al-Jazeera that one of the network’s journalists, a woman with extensive connections in the U.S. and Canada, was sent to Iran following her detention last month in Damascus, the pan-Arab broadcaster said Wednesday.
Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based network, urged Iranian authorities to provide details on Dorothy Parvaz, who went missing after leaving the Qatari capital of Doha on April 29 for Syria to report on the political turmoil there.
Last week, Al-Jazeera said Syrian authorities confirmed the detention of Parvaz, who holds U.S., Iranian and Canadian citizenship. She works for the news network’s English-language channel.
“We have now received information that she is being held in Tehran,” the Al-Jazeera statement said, adding that the network is “deeply concerned” for Parvaz’s welfare.
Al-Jazeera said the information about Parvaz being in Iran came from Syrian officials who had previously told the network the journalist was being held in Damascus but that she would be released.
“We are calling for information from the Iranian authorities, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release,” it also said.
Syrian officials have sharply limited media access to the country during an ongoing uprising against the authoritarian regime of President Bashar Assad.
Parvaz joined Al-Jazeera in 2010 and recently reported on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The station said she graduated from the University of British Columbia, obtained a masters from Arizona University, and held journalism fellowships at both Harvard and Cambridge universities.
She previously worked as a reporter and columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Parvaz’s detention has highlighted the worsening relations between Syrian authorities and the Qatar-based TV network.
Al-Jazeera reporters were allowed to stay in Syria as other reporters were expelled, but two weeks ago the station said it was scaling back its Syrian operations, citing harassment by security forces.