On World Press Day … the Iranian regime has a record of freedom of opinion and expression violations

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03 May 2020

The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of “Human Rights” appreciates the heroic role of the Ahwazi journalists

On World Press Day … The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of “Human Rights” calls for the protection of freedom of opinion by the Iranian regime. Sunday, May 3, 2020, marks World Press Freedom Day, an annual event celebrated in the world, while journalists celebrate Today’s world Iran remains one of the world’s most repressive country for journalism and journalists.

Journalists constitute two-thirds of the detainees in Iranian prisons. Over the past thirty years, at least 900 journalists have been arrested, detained, or executed by the Iranian regime, within the information that the Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights has been able to document.

Journalists across Iran and in Ahwaz, in particular, are paying dearly prices to shed light on the crimes and violations of the Iranian regime and expose financial corruption scandals and inflated bank accounts of people closely related to the pillars of the Iranian regime.

In order to prevent the arrival and circulation of the truth, the Iranian regime deliberately prevented the issuance of licenses for printing newspapers or permits to practice journalism, in addition to arbitrary arrests and unfair trials that terminate heavy sentences in the absence of fair trials for journalists.

Given the harsh pressures against journalists seeking to carry out their mission, they took to social networking sites as an opportunity to convey the deteriorating social, political and economic reality; however, it was not spared from the grip of the Iranian regime, which imposed harsh penalties on bloggers and journalists.

To prevent news of the repression led by the Iranian regime against protesters and political activists who have expelled brutal crimes against demonstrators, the regime has deliberately cut off Internet services and shut down news websites, along with a ban on access to global social media (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram).

All this and more in order to hide the bitter reality or obscure the scale of disasters, the best example of which occurred during the torrential pandemic in March 2019, the crash of a Ukrainian Boeing plane in early 2020, and during the outbreak of the Corona pandemic (Covid-19).

The repression and the restriction of freedom of opinion are not confined to the local press; its repercussions have also extended to foreign media, prompting the BBC recently to launch an unprecedented appeal to the United Nations, demanding that it prevent Iran from harassing its staff serving in Tehran.

On the occasion of World Press Day, the Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights appreciates the heroic role that journalists play inside the Ahwaz during their coverage of the struggle of the free Arab people such as the “uprising of the earth”, the “uprising of dignity” and “the thirst uprising”, and labor demonstrations despite the regime’s grip Iranian security.

The organization stresses the importance of respecting freedom of the press and the necessity of ensuring it to workers in this profession because it constitutes a real guarantee for the consolidation and defense of human rights, in a manner that does not contradict Article (19) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article (19) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In a manner that guarantees them protection in conflict areas as civilian persons, per the protection provided by the Fourth Geneva Convention to journalists as civilians and in accordance with the text of Article (79) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions constituting international humanitarian law.

The organization calls on all international and human rights organizations, Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation of Journalists, and other related institutions to the necessity of exerting the utmost pressure to promote and protect freedom of opinion and expression and to release the journalists in Iran and Ahwaz, in particular, without conditions.

The organization reiterates its repeated calls to regional and international press institutions, foremost of which are the International Federation of Journalists, to enhance their activities in solidarity with Ahwazi journalists in particular and journalists in Iran in general, who are victims of violations of the Iranian regime, and to strengthen the protection of journalists and media workers and protect them from the repeated violations they are subjected to.

 

The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights

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