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Association of Iranian journalists protests new press restrictions

Source: The International Journalists' Network (IJNet)

The Association of Iranian Journalists (AOIJ) has made a public statement protesting new action by Iran’s National Security Council, which sent letters to a number of media outlets requesting them not to publish articles on certain topics.

According to the online news Web site Rooz, the AOIJ argued that the letters are in clear violation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s press law.

The letters were sent to the editors of several newspapers asking them not to publish on certain topics such as, the plan to increase public security, increasing energy prices, international sanctions imposed against Bank Sepah, negotiations with the United States, inflation and “other issues.”

In the letter sent to various newspapers on May 24, Iran’s NSC has also asked newspapers from refraining to use the word “movement.”

In its statement, AOIJ notes: “The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance must be at the forefront of complying with the law.  Sending letters to publications ordering them to comply with illegal demands is against article 4 of the press law of the Islamic Constitution.”

According to the same declaration, “It is unclear what is meant by the profession of journalism and freedom of press in the Islamic Republic, if the press has to refrain from freely reporting about such issues.”

Since the last parliamentary (Majlis) elections in February 2000, the press law has been amended several times and more restrictions have been put in place.


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