Iranian government crackdown on media alarming

Friday, February 22, 2013

Morteza Bakhtiari
Minister of Justice
Tehran, Valiasr St., No. 1816

Dear Minister,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE condemns the recent inspection of four newspaper offices in Iran and the subsequent arrest of 12 journalists by Iranian intelligence officials.

On January 27 and 28, twelve journalists were arrested by the Iranian government, namely: Milad Fadai Asl of ILNA, Soliman Mohammadi of Bahar, Sasan Aghai, Nasrin Takhayori, Javad Daliri and Emily Amrai of Etemad, Motahreh Shafie, Nargus Jodaki and Saba Azarpik of Arman, Porya Alami and Pejman Mousavi of Shargh and Akbar Montajabi of Aseman. Each journalist was then detained without explanation, while their homes were searched and personal items confiscated by Iranian government officials.

CJFE is concerned that Iran’s recent crackdown on the media and the increasing accusations of journalists’ collusion with Westerners and counter-revolutionaries is timed to intimidate and muzzle critical political voices before the country’s presidential election this June.

CJFE urges the Iranian government to release the imprisoned journalists immediately, and to uphold all Iranians’ rights to free expression.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,
Arnold Amber, CJFE President

Cc: Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran
The Honourable John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs