Reporters Without Borders voiced deep regret at the death of 84 Iranian journalists and media technicians, above all public television employees, when a Hercules C-130 military transport plane crashed into an apartment building in a southern district of Tehran today.
"We would like to express out condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible accident," the press freedom organisation said. "Our thoughts also reach out to the Iranian news media that have been hit very hard by this catastrophe."
Reporters Without Borders added : "At the same time, we deplore the fact that journalists on the scene mourning their lost friends were hit by anti-riot police."
The journalists aboard the aircraft were being taken to cover a large-scale military exercise in the south of the country. At least 116 people were killed when the plane crashed after one of its engines failed.
International Federation of Journalists sends emergency help to families of media victims
Brussels, Dec 7, IRNA-The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world's biggest journalists' group, decided Wednesday to send 5,000 euro in emergency help for the families of media victims of Tuesday's air disaster in Iran.
"We have already said we'll send 5,000 euro for emergency help for the families, but it's a paltry amount, given the awful loss," IFJ General Secretary Aidan White told IRNA in Brussels.
"We'll see if we can do more," he added.
Earlier in a statement, White described the air tragedy as 'a sad and desperate day for journalism'.
"This tragedy is hard for all of us to bear. In this dark moment for journalism around the world we extend our deepest sympathies to all of you." The 68 media victims were mostly Iranian radio and television journalists heading to cover military maneuver in southern Iran.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries.
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