The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued a renewed appeal for the President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, to reopen the headquarters of the Associationof Iranian Journalists (AoIJ)in Iran and release journalists imprisoned in the country.
As part of its actions to mark World Press Freedom Day, the IFJ has written a letter to the President reiterating its request for him and his government to take the necessary steps required to reopen the Teharan headquarters of the AoIJ which have been closed since August 2009 following an order from the general prosecutor at the time.
The letter also calls for the President to take urgent action to secure the release of those journalists who are currently in Iranian prisons, stating that the global journalists community have been horrified by the judicial process that put these journalists in jail and the abusive treatment they face every day.
Signed by IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, the letter says the IFJ welcomeseverystatementthe President has madeaboutpressfreedominIranandtheroleand responsibility of journalists in upholding the right of Iranian citizens to receive reliable and trustworthy information.
However, the letter says that “if these powerful statements are to havean enduringimpact, it iscrucial that your government now takes the positive and enduring action that will convey its commitment to freedom of speech and media freedom.”
Urging the President to build on the positive approach he and his government have shown to press freedom, the asks the President to “order the lifting of the closure of the headquarters and release journalists imprisoned in Iran,” advising that “This would send a strong message about media freedom in Iran and the important role of journalists in the future of your country.”
The IFJ letter is the latest in a series of requests that have been issued to support colleagues and journalists in Iran and appeal for the AoIJ headquarters to be reopened.
In January this year the IFJ gave its full backing to 774 journalists in Iran who wrote an open letter to the President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, appealing for the lifting of the closure of the AoIJ office, while in June 2013 the IFJ also wrote to President Rohani shortly after he had been elected to ask him to make good on the promises he had made after clinching the presidency.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries