IFJ Demands End to Intimidation as Iran Shuts Journalists' Association


International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Iranian authorities

to end the campaign of intimidation of journalists in the country following the

closure last night of the Association of Journalists in Tehran whose offices were raided and sealed

by armed men.


a meeting this morning with the Iranian

Ambassador to the European Union and Belgium,

the IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said that up to 42 journalists held in

jail should be set free and the Association of Iranian

Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate, should be allowed to function.


must be an end to intimidation of journalists if there is to be a new

dialogue," said White. The IFJ says that the closure of the Association of Journalists,

within hours of the swearing in of President Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad for a second term after weeks of post-election unrest sends

a chilling message about the country's attitude to press freedom.


the meeting in Brussels White said: "Government actions against media and

journalists erode further the credibility and standing of the Government in

national and the world opinion."


to the AoIJ, some of whose leaders are in hiding fearing for their safety, their

offices were closed on the order of the government's general prosecutor, Saeid

Mortazavi. The Association says it had planned a general assembly, which the

authorities had banned.


IFJ says three more journalists arrested in Tehran this week bring the number of jailed journalists

to 42. Reza Nourabakhsh, editor of Farhikhtegan daily, Mehdi Yazdani

Khoram, editor atItmad e Milli and Mir-Hamid Hassanzadeh of the Iranian students' News agency, ISNA and director of Ghalam

News website, close to defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi,

were arrested on 5 August.


AoIJ has also confirmed the death of Alireza Eftekhari, journalist of Abrar

Economic daily, who died of his injuries sustained on 15 June at the hands of Iranian security forces during a media clampdown

following protests over the Presidential elections.


must not make journalists scapegoats for its political troubles," said White. "Journalism

should be supported as a voice for democratic rights."

For more information

contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide