New York based Human Rights Watch, in a statement released on Thursday, voiced concern over limitations and crackdowns aimed at Iranian writers and journalists by Iranian authorities. New York based Human Rights Watch, in a statement released on Thursday, voiced concern over limitations and crackdowns aimed at Iranian writers and journalists by Iranian authorities. The human rights watchdog said that especially the Iranian judiciary seems determined to silence the critics of the regime. The HRW statement follows an announcement by Jamal Karini Rad, the spokesperson of the Iranian judiciary a few days ago, in which he spoke of impending trials for a number of arrested journalists. The arrest of journalist and internet- writer Omid Memarian and others in recent weeks reflects the determination of Iranian hardliners to crackdown on journalists and web writers within the country. A prolific writer on youth-related issues and a candidate in last year’s election for Tehran’s City Council, Memarian was arrested in his office around noon on Sunday. He also had a Web-log that solely focused on a range of social, cultural and civil society issues in Iran. Memarian along with journalists and internet- writers Shahram Rafihzadeh, Hanif Mazroi and Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, are accused of “propaganda against the regime, threatening national security and incitement to rebellion and insulting leading figures in the regime.” They are also accused of enjoying support from certain foreign governments for “seeking to overthrow the [Iranian] regime.” In an interview with Radio Farda, Masoud Behnoud, an expert on Iranian Affairs says that given the framework of the legal system in Iran, the case of the arrested journalists is now beyond the authority of the judiciary and that they can only be freed by the direct decree of Ayatollah Khamenei himself.