IFJ Condemns Media Witch Hunt as Journalists Flee Iran

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today accused the Iranian authorities of a media witch hunt as journalists flee the country or are in hiding after the closure of several newspapers and the continued shutdown of the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ).

"There is no let-up on the harassment of media in Iran," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Independent journalists are in flight for their own safety and the independent media sector is under siege."

According to reliable reports, up to six newspapers have been closed since controversial presidential elections in June and at least 18 journalists remain in prison. Many more continue to flee the country and others, including the President of the AoIJ, Rajabali Mazrooei, are in hiding and fearing arrest.

The Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate, says it has applied to the authorities in Tehran to reopen their office, but their appeal has so far made no progress.

An IFJ regional meeting which brought together 15 union members in the Middle East and the Arab World held in Amman from 5-7 October adopted a strong resolution calling for end of media clampdown in Iran.

The statement from union leaders in the region said:

‘'We note with dismay the deterioration of conditions in Iran, where the journalists' association was closed and dozens of journalists detained while others were forced to flee the country.

"The meeting expresses full solidarity with Iranian colleagues and calls on the Iranian authorities to lift the siege on the offices of the Iranian Association of Journalists and to release all journalists and to end harassment."

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide