The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) today renewed its call to Iranian
authorities to release up to thirty journalists, including the General
Secretary of the Association of Iranian
Journalists (AoIJ), an IFJ affiliate, who are still detained following a
massive media clampdown in the wake of the controversial presidential election
of June last year. The call came ahead of the celebrations of Iran's
New Year which are taking place on 21st March.
"We demand the release of all
journalists whose continued detention has only served to show the country'
intolerance of democratic debate," said Aidan White,
IFJ General Secretary. "The New Year should usher in a new chapter in the
relations between media and Government which excludes threats and repression."
According to the AoIJ, up to 30
journalists remain in detention including its General Secretary, Mofidi
Badrossadat, who was arrested at the end of last year. The authorities also closed
the AOIJ office in early August 2009, without giving any reason
for the measure.
The IFJ says that the majority of
detained journalists have never been charged since their arrests, proving that
the Government acted solely to suppress independent reporting of the political
crisis which exposed the level and strength of opposition to the regime
following the dispute of June 2009. A number of newspapers have also been shut
down and internet sites blocked in a forlorn attempt to prevent information
from reaching the outside world.
"The Government's actions have
counterproductive and detrimental to its best interests," added White. "
Locking up journalists cannot guarantee news blackout in the digital world. The
media void is likely to be filled with less professional, biased information
For more information contact the IFJ
at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over
600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide