The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today accused Iranian
authorities of a continuing and unrelenting campaign of intimidation against
media after a court condemned leading journalist and author Emad Baghi to a six-year
suspended jail term.
The sentence, in response to an interview he conducted for the BBC's
Persian service TV channel in 2007, was described as "punitive and
absurd in equal measure" by the IFJ which says Iran must end its targeting of
"The sentence is completely unjustified and demonstrates only that the
Tehran regime remains focused on making life difficult for independent and
dissident voices in journalism," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Journalists
must be allowed to seek the opinions of all sides in society, including those
who may disagree with the government."
Baghi who remains free pending his appeal, was according to local reports
convicted of "engaging in propaganda against the Islamic system." He was
arrested in December last year after his interview with Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn
Ali Montazeri in 2007 was re-broadcast by the BBC in December 2009 following the cleric's
The journalist who is also a human rights activist was released on bail in
June but was convicted the following month of endangering national security in
relation to his work defending prisoners' rights. He received a one year jail
term and was banned from political activities for five years. The sentence was
upheld by an appeal court early in the week, reports say.
Last month, Badressadat
Mofidi, General Secretary of the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an
IFJ affiliate, was also sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to commit crime
and propaganda against the Islamic regime.
The IFJ says the
Iranian regime's suppression of independent media in the country has led to the
jailing of journalists on trumped up charges. Some journalists have fled to
neighbouring countries and further beyond to seek political refuge.
The Federation is
working with its affiliates across the globe, especially in Turkey with the Türkiye
Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS), and in Denmark with the Danish Union of
Journalists to provide humanitarian assistance to Iranian colleagues forced
"The persecution of
our colleagues in Iran is countered by solidarity from the global journalists'
community," added Aidan. "We are committed to defending all of our colleagues
and we will not rest until all detained journalists in Iran are free and those in
exile can return home."
For more information, please contact IFJ on +
32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 journalists in 125 countries