International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today accused Iranian authorities
of targeting media amid signs of solidarity in the country with protests which
toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. At least four journalists working for
reformist newspaper were arrested last week ahead of demonstrations called by
the opposition to support recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
"The Iranian regime
is attempting to intimidate journalists out of fear for the publicity anti
governments protests have had in the Middle East," said Aidan White, IFJ
General Secretary. "Gagging media is further proof that the authorities are
failing to heed calls for democratic change in the region."
the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate, security
forces arrested on Friday two journalists, Nazhat Amirabadian and Maziar
Khosravi , working for Shargh, the only remaining reformist newspaper in Iran. On
Sunday night, the authorities arrested Abodalah Naseri, former head of Iranian
news agency(IRNA) under President Khatami's rule. Four more journalists, Omid
Mohaddes, Taghi Rahmani, Meysam Mohammadi and Sadredin Beheshti Shirazi were detained
early last week for questioning.
followed the call by Iranian political opposition for demonstration yesterday 14
February in solidarity with people in Tunisia and Egypt who have forced former
presidents Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak to step down. Media reports say the
authorities have blocked access to internet sites and started jamming satellite
The AoIJ says
that at least 34 journalists remain in prison, including two women Nazanin
Khosravani and Hengameh Shahidi. Khosravani faces charges of "acting against
national security, propaganda against the Islamic Republic and disturbing
public opinion", says the AoIJ.
The IFJ accuses
the Iranian authorities of seeking to blame the media for the public opinion
which has largely been critical of the leadership since the disputed
presidential poll of June 2009.
authorities must respect journalists' independence and stop making them scape
goats," added White. "It is time to release all our colleagues."
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 members in 125 countries