NewsSpecial WireIran lambasted for abuse of press freedoms

Iran lambasted for abuse of press freedoms


Iran Focus: London, Nov. 08 – A prominent international press freedoms group accused Iran on Thursday of violating journalists’ basic rights. Iran Focus

London, Nov. 08 – A prominent international press freedoms group accused Iran on Thursday of violating journalists’ basic rights.

“Reporters Without Borders today regretted that Iran continues to snub appeals from the international community on human rights, as one journalist was imprisoned and two publications suspended”, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a statement.

“Less than a week after the European Parliament passed a resolution urging Iran to respect its ‘obligations in line with international norms and instruments on human rights’, Yaghoub Salaki Nia was imprisoned at Evin jail in Tehran. His arrest on 31 October brought to ten the number of journalists imprisoned in the country”, RSF said.

“Iran remains deaf to appeals from the international community aimed at establishing a real dialogue on human rights”, the organisation said. ”Journalists are being held in custody without charge in defiance of the most basic rights. Some of them are suffering as a result of their prison conditions and need medical attention which has been denied to them”, it added.

Intelligence ministry agents arrested freelance journalist, Yaghub Salaki Nia, a contributor to several banned media, including Shamesse Tabriz, Ahrar, Omid Zanjan, on 31 October, according to the group. His house was searched and his work equipment and papers were seized.

RSF also pointed out that the Authorisation and Surveillance Commission of the Press on 23 September suspended without reason the political monthly Dilmaj, founded in 2004. The quarterly Madresseh was suspended on 5 November for “apostasy”. The philosophical review had published an interview in its latest edition with an intellectual cleric, Mohammad Mojtahed Shabesstary, who carries out research into the Koran. Iranian leaders took the view that his remarks were “insulting of sacred texts”.

The European Parliament voted a resolution on 25 October 2007 condemning Iranian human rights violations. It recognised that “the situation in the Islamic Republic in relation to civil rights and political freedoms has deteriorated in the last two years, particularly since presidential elections in June 2005”, the date on which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power.

In October, RSF ranked Iran in 166th place out of 169 countries on its annual world press freedom rankings.

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