Friday 11 September 2009

Iran urged to re-open journalists' office

The International Federation of Journalists today called on Iranian authorities to reopen the office of the Association of Iranian Journalists which was closed down on 5 August in a Government clampdown.
The Association said the decision was illegal and has submitted an application signed by 325 Iranian journalists to the prosecutor general for the reopening of their office.
Aidan White, IFJ general secretary, said: "One month after the office's closure, there has been no explanation for it, making it yet another act of media repression played out in recent months in Iran."
According to the AoIJ, an IFJ affiliate, the authorities closed down its office shortly before the general assembly which had been convened to discuss the media clampdown in Iran in the wake of the controversial June presidential election.
At least 38 journalists are believed to be in prison in Iran, making the country the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.
The Committe to Protect Journalists has repeated its plea for Maziar Bahari, the acclaimed film-maker and Newsweek correspondent, to be freed. Bahari has been held in an Iranian jail since he was arrested on June 21 as part of the post-election crackdown.
“As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, we implore the Iranian authorities to take advantage of this blessed occasion, which is a time for benevolence and humanity, to release Maziar Bahari and to permit him to be reunited with his family,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem.

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