IFJ Dismayed at Unjust Sentence Given to Iranian Journalist Serajoddin Mirdamadi

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its dismay at the unjust prison sentence handed down by an Iranian court to the journalist Serajoddin Mirdamadi. 

According to IFJ affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), Mirdamadi has been sentenced to six years in prison for undermining national security. He had been living in Paris, but visited Iran in September 2013 when he had his passport confiscated at the airport and was prohibited from travelling. He was arrested on 11 May this year and had been held in Evin prison, in northwestern Tehran, in the lead up to his trial.

“The sentence given to Serajoddin Mirdamadi is absolutely preposterous,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “He is a journalist who has committed no crime and is clearly no danger to national security. This decision not only undermines the right to media freedom in Iran, but is also a violation of human rights in the country. We call for this decision to be overturned with immediate effect.”

A total of 23 journalists are currently imprisoned in Iran. In May this year, the IFJ reported that Mirdamadi was one of three journalists who had been most recently detained.

The second of those journalists is Hossein Noraninejad, who had been studying for two years in Australia and returned to Iran in February. He was then arrested on 21 April and is being held in Evin prison while waiting for his trial.

And the third is Saba Azar Pay, a woman journalist, who was arrested at the offices of her magazine, Tajarete Farda, on 26 May. When asked about her case by a journalist in a recent press conference, Rohani said that he was unaware of her situation.

“When President Rohani and his government came into power one year ago they made a number of promises about the importance of media freedom, but it is clear that the judicial system in Iran continues to oppose freedom of expression,” said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. “It is also very concerning that the President was unaware of the case of Saba Azar Pay, who has now been detained for nearly one month.

“We reiterate our call for the Iranian judicial system and government to uphold their responsibility to respect the basic human rights that are guaranteed by the Iranian constitution and release all journalists being held in Iran.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17

The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries