Free Dorothy on Friday on Twitter, Facebook

Posted on by sbhatt

Free Dorothy banner

UPDATE: Please download this new Free Dorothy banner, which Wendy Wahman designed and updated to reflect the news that Dorothy was deported from Syria to Iran.

You can help raise awareness by swapping this image with your Facebook and Twitter profile pic every Friday — marking another week since Dorothy disappeared.

Please tell your friends and family to do the same. The wider this message spreads, the sooner we’ll find her.


You can also send friends a direct link to this image:

Be sure to Like the Free Dorothy Parvaz Facebook page and to follow her on Twitter @FreeDorothy.

If you’d like to sign a petition calling on the UN to work for Dorothy’s release, check out the Human Rights Petition at


Kristen Young, a friend of Dorothy and former colleague at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is spearheading press and public diplomacy efforts in the US to free Dorothy. She wrote the press release below.

By Kristen Young

Dorothy Parvaz – a citizen of the U.S., Canada and Iran and a former editorial writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer – has been detained since Friday, April 29, when she boarded a plane from Doha, Qatar, to Damascus, Syria, on a reporting assignment for her current employer, Al Jazeera English.

She hasn’t been heard from since.

The Syrian government said Dorothy was sent to Iran on May 1 under the control of the Iranian authorities, but we’ve had no word from Iran as to whether that is true. We are unsure of who has her. We continue to hope she is being treated with dignity and respect, especially considering that she is a citizen of Iran.  Most of all, her family and loved ones need to know she is safe.  We believe that Syria maliciously sent Dorothy to Iran and, in so doing, violated international law.

“We miss her, we haven’t heard from her since April 29, we have no idea where she’s being held and who has her, and we want her home,” Dorothy’s fiancé Todd Barker said. “She’s a journalist who was just trying to do her job.”

Hundreds of articles, radio and TV segments, and blog posts have focused attention on her detainment. The U.S. State Department is working on freeing Dorothy, but we’d like for her case to remain a focus of diplomatic engagement by the U.S., Canadian and Iranian governments.  On May 2 – the day after Syrian authorities claimed Parvaz was sent to Iran — the Iranian foreign minister said at a news conference that Iran wanted the Syrians to look into the matter. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also indicated that he did not know about Syria detaining Parvaz, or about Syria deporting her.

“I hope that it is not true, but if that is the case, then we demand the government of Syria to look into this,” Salehi said in response to a question on what Iran would undertake to secure Parvaz’s release. We hope that Salehi now focuses his attention on Syria’s claims that Parvaz was sent to Tehran.

Supporters worldwide have visited and “liked” the Free Dorothy Parvaz Facebook page, which already has more than 12,000 members. Thousands of Twitter messages have demanded her freedom at #FreeDorothy.

Harvard University’s Nieman FoundationandWolfson College Cambridge, where Dorothy held journalism fellowships, released statements lauding her reporting skills, affirming the rights of journalists and calling for her release.  Venerable news organizations and bloggers from around the world are spotlighting Dorothy’s detention. Al Jazeera English, The Seattle Times, The Globe and Mail, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders and many other international organizations first demanded her release from Syrian custody – now, they are pushing for Iran to find her and free her.

Could you encourage other news sources and relevant institutions to do the same? Can you ask your political representatives to join U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representatives Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott and Rick Larsen (D-WA) in supporting the effort to free Dorothy?  Please scroll to the bottom of this message to see relevant embassy and governmental contact information for supporters in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Your participation is crucial.  Her family and loved ones cannot rest until she is known to be safe – and home.

Dorothy is a global citizen.  She grew up in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.  She studied at the University of British Columbia and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona before joining the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  She was awarded fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge before being hired by Al Jazeera English online.

Dorothy has dedicated her life to telling stories. She views journalism as a force for good.

Please write to me at or call me at 206-795-7771 if you have any questions. Thank you for any action that you contemplate taking. Please keep her in your thoughts.

With deep gratitude,



U.S. Supporters:

Please email and call the White House (visit;202-456-1111) and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton (; 202-647-6575)to politely press for Dorothy’s release.


Canadian supporters:

Please contact the Embassy of Canada to Iran in Tehran
Dennis Horak
Chargé d’Affaires

Tel.: 98 (21) 8152-0000
Fax: 98 (21) 8873-3200


Canadians can call the Iranian embassy in Ottawa at 613-235-4726 and leave a polite message for Mr. Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, Chargé d’Affaires, respectfully asking that Dorothy, an U.S., Canadian and Iranian citizen, be found and released.
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2
TEL (613) 235-4726
FAX (613) 232-5712


#FreeDorothy Call the #Iran embassy in Ottawa: 613-235-4726 PLS RT #Canada


@PMHarper Call Iranian ambassador, demand release of journalist Dorothy Parvaz #freedorothy.

@AndrewSaxton1 Your constituent Fred Parvaz wants Iran to free his daughter. What is ur govt doing? #freedorothy


Irish, English, Scottish supporters:

Please contact the Iranian Embassy in London or and the Consulate switchboard: 020 7225 3000



About sbhatt

Sanjay Bhatt jumped into journalism in 1996, landing his first job at The Times Leader, a daily in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He juggled covering 12 school districts and loved turning out enterprising, investigative pieces. Within a year, he got hired by The Palm Beach Post of West Palm Beach, Fla., where he spent the next six years building a reputation as a top health reporter. The biggest story he covered there was the 2001 anthrax investigation. In 2003, he joined The Seattle Times, where he has examined public schools, neighborhood issues, the economic crisis and local government. He enjoys producing mini-documentaries, trying new ideas online and learning new technologies. View all posts by sbhatt →
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