Written Statement Submitted by Reporters Sans Frontières to UN Commission on Human Rights on the Question of Civil and Political Rights, Including Freedom of Expression, 18 January 2002
February 13, 2002
Economic and Social Council
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE QUESTIONS OF:
On 1 January 2002 Iran had the sad record of being the biggest jail for journalists in the Middle East, with 18 media professionals behind bars (almost twice as many as in 2000). After their February 2000 defeat in the parliamentary elections, the conservatives launched a large scale offensive against the media. The consequences are serious: over 50 publications have been closed down (e.g. Asr-é-Azadegan, Fath and Iran-é-Farda) and dozens of journalists charged for "anti-Islamic propaganda", "spreading false news" and "insulting Islam", among other things.
Eighteen journalists behind bars