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.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing crackdown by the Iranian authorities on protestors and society in general.
We 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.