IFJ Accuses Iran over Massive Attack on Media and Journalists

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) today warned that a massive attack on independent media in


which has seen the jailing of journalists and a continuing crackdown on

free expression reveals the desperation of the regime to curb democracy.

"The rulers of Iran

appear determined to stifle dissent and to isolate its people from the outside

world," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It's a

desperate but futile attempt to turn the clock back." 


to reports, the head of Iran's judiciary,

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, has

said in a memo to judges that measures are needed to contain the growing

criticism of the government in the independent media. He reportedly singled out

websites and satellites channels and called for prosecution of any person who

cooperates with them.


IFJ has repeatedly criticised Iranian

authorities for their heavy handed way in suppressing independent reporting of

the unprecedented show of opposition to the regime following the controversial

re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month. The government

expelled foreign correspondents and attempted to jam broadcasts of

international channels and to block websites.


of Iranian journalists have also

been arrested, while others went into hiding to evade arrest. According to the Association

of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), an

IFJ affiliate, there are still 20 journalists in detention.

The AoIJ on 2 July cancelled

under pressure from the Iranian

authorities a meeting which had been called to condemn the arrests of their

colleagues and expressed their solidarity.


must not turn its back on democracy and free expression," added White. "Without

debate and free speech there will be no reform, no development, no future prosperity. That may be what extremists

want, but it is not the will of the people." 

For more information,

contact + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents over

600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide