The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the Iranian government to immediately release all journalists who are being illegally detained in the country. The call came after a meeting between the IFJ general secretary, Beth Costa, and Leila Liaghat, the wife of imprisoned Iranian journalist Alireza Rajaei.
Rajaei, who is also a board member of the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), has been in detention for more than 30 months without charge or access to due legal process. He was arrested in May 2011, a few weeks after he was sacked from his job at the National Iranian Radio and Television without receiving payments.
Ms Liaghat had to flee Iran with her two children for safety after a lengthy campaign of pressure and intimidation by Iranian security agents.
According to Rajabali Mazrooei, the chairman of the IFJ affiliate in Iran, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), who also attended the meeting, there are at least ten other journalists who have been detained for years without charge.
"These are flagrant violations of basic human rights and these cases also violate the Iranian constitution which give the country's citizens the right to a fair trial," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We call on the Iranian government to take immediate action required to put an end to the tragedy facing the journalists and their families."
On 5 November, the IFJ sent a letter to the President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, calling for the release of journalists imprisoned in the country and the reopening of the offices of the Association of Iranian Journalists.
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The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries