We, the undersigned members
of the Media Freedom Coalition (MFC) are highly concerned about the recent
violent repression of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly by Iran.
condemn in the strongest possible
terms the ongoing crackdown by the Iranian authorities on protestors and
society in general.
call upon Iran to respect its
commitments under international law and to cooperate with all UN bodies and
mandate holders, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the independent international
fact-finding mission appointed by the President of the UN Human Rights Council.
We call on Iran to release all arbitrarily detained
individuals, including all journalists. Many journalists have reportedly been
detained “preventatively,” including during raids on their homes, to prevent
them from exposing Iran’s human rights abuses. Journalists should be able to do
their jobs without fear of persecution, including discrimination and violence
based on gender, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual
orientation. The targeted arrests of journalists in Iran are a direct affront
to freedom of expression and media freedom. Unfortunately, these measures are
just the latest acts of repression against journalists in Iran.
We furthermore condemn the Iranian authorities’ accusation that
independent media are “manipulated by foreign forces” and the Iranian
authorities’ intimidation or threats directed towards Iranian journalists working
for international media based outside of Iran. This not only undermines media
freedom in Iran, but media freedom worldwide.
We also note the Freedom Online Coalition’s statement
which strongly condemns the Iranian authorities’ actions to restrict the
Iranian public’s access to the Internet, disrupt popular social media
platforms, and cut off mobile networks. Journalists and media workers should be
able to report unimpeded by government interference.
We urge the Iranian authorities to allow all the
people of Iran, including journalists and media workers, to freely express
themselves and access information, both online and offline.Signed: