of President Hassan Rohani in Iran provides a window of opportunity for
democratic change, a round table discussion hosted by the European Parliament
jointly organised by the Tarja Cronberg MEP and
the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), brought together members of
the European Parliament, IFJ leaders, Iranian journalists and writers.
"There is a
window of opportunity for change in Iran," said Ms Cronberg, Chair of the
European Parliament delegation on Iran, who moderated the discussion. "On the
eve of the election, candidate Rohani promised to release all political
Jim Boumelha, described the President-elect as a man the international community
can do business with, on the basis of his inside knowledge of Iranian politics.
He held senior positions in the government and served as Iran's chief
negotiator in the nuclear talks.
cautioned against high expectations on what President Hassan can achieve for
press freedom in the immediate future.
excitement over his election must be tempered with the expectation that he will
want to tread carefully so as not to antagonize the hardliners in Iran," said
meantime, he said that the IFJ will continue campaigning for independent media,
in solidarity with its affiliate in the country, the Association of Iranian
Journalists (AoIJ), which was shut down in the wake of the clampdown on media
journalists agreed that change may take time and called for European
governments maintain pressure on Iranian authorities and demand genuine
independence of media.
Rohani carries the hopes of Iranian people but it is too soon to tell what will
happen," added Ali Mazrooei, AoIJ President. "But the situation of journalists
remains bleak. At least 40 journalists are still in jail and there is no free
flow of information. Very few newspapers are independent."
Secretary, Beth Costa, said that Iranian journalists deserve global solidarity in
their struggle for a free press.
regard, the IFJ World Congress which took place in Dublin from 4 - 7 June
adopted an urgent motion supporting Iranian journalists and calling for the
release of all journalists and the AoIJ offices as well as a new chapter in
relations between media and the government," she said.
record on workers' rights also came under severe criticism. Stephen Benedict,
Director of Human and Trade Union Rights of ITUC, accused Iran of continuously
violating the rights of trade unionists, writers and journalists. These include
poor working conditions, denial of licences for
publications, retribution from officials and unpaid work. He also cited cases
brought against Iran by the ITUC to the Committee on Freedom of Association
which found on many occasions Iran to be in breach of the workers' right to organise
and bargain for collective agreements.
answer is more intense solidarity and focused denunciations of workers' rights
violations," said Mr Benedict.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134