Iran: Protest over union rights block

Credit: Association of Tehran Province Journalists

The board of the Association of Tehran Journalists has resigned en-masse in protest at the ongoing refusal of the authorities of allow their registration.

The Association has accused the authorities of illegal processes including attempting to impose unelected members to serve on the board.

In an open letter addressed to ‘Journalists and Members of the General Assembly of the Association of Tehran Journalists" they claim that despite “all of our efforts, negotiations, correspondence and follow ups" they have been unable to legally register the association after 8 months from the general assembly.

They claim the General Directorate of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare of the Tehran Province continued to not publish the announcement of the establishment of the Association and unofficially attempted to impose illegal solutions as the precondition for the official registration of the Association.

The main board members and reserve board members have resigned in order to not accept the "illegal processes" or to allow board members to be changed after the elections and outside of the established procedures.

The board members have stated they had tried to establish the new association after years of work attempting to relaunch the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate.

After promises made by president Rouhani were not delivered the members began to establish a new union to represent journalists in Tehran. 

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We respect the decision of board members to resign in protest at the intransigence of the authorities who are continuing to denying Iranian journalists their fundamental rights and will continue to support the right of all our colleagues in Iran to establish, organise and run their own union. We repeat our call for the restrictions on the AoIJ to be lifted”.

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