IFJ Condemns Latest Clampdown on Journalists in Iran

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed deep concern over continuing harassment of media in Iran amid signs of growing opposition from independent journalists to censorship and manipulation in the country's mainstream media.

"There is evidence of strong pressure on independent journalism from outside and inside the newsroom. Even some media owners inside the profession are bullying their journalists who refuse to toe the official line," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Journalists are arrested, sacked or forced to resign for standing up for ethical journalism."

According to the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate, 39 journalists and media workers have been sacked or forced to resign from the conservative news agency Fars News, a number of them in recent weeks following clashes with management over the agency's editorial line.

The IFJ recently denounced the Iranian government's attempts to control and manipulate the content and the flow of information from international news outlets following the country's disputed presidential elections last month which sparked unprecedented levels of civil unrest.

The IFJ has also learned about three latest arrests of journalists in Iran: Mohammad-Reza Yazdanpanah, a journalist and blogger was arrested on July 8 in Tehran.  Madjid Saeidi, a photo journalist who has worked for conservative journals for the last five years was arrested on 10 July in Tehran while Mehdi Mahdavi-Azad, editor of Shahab news, a reformist daily, was arrested on June 23.

"These latest arrests are yet more stains on Iran's already poor record on press freedom," added White. "The clampdown on media is a reflection of the perilous situation for democracy in the country."

For more information contact the IFJ at: + 32 2 235 2207

IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 123 countries around the world.