Committee to Protect Journalist: Iran must work toward improving press freedom
Azerbaijan, Baku, August 18 /Trend/
The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has sent a letter to Ahmed Shaheed,
U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, to provide him with an assessment of the country's situation of press freedom ahead of his report on human rights in Iran to the U.N. General Assembly in September, the CPJ's official web-site reads.
According to the letter, the Iranian authorities were detaining 34 journalists when CPJ conducted its annual worldwide census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, 2010, making Iran, along with China, the world's worst jailer of the press.
"In reviewing these cases and their developments, we have identified three distinct and worrying developments to which we would like to draw your attention," Joel Simon, CPJ's Executive Director wrote in the letter.
Among these developments are uncertain prison terms for detained journalists, inhumane treatment and a lack of due process, Simon noted.
A survey conducted by the CPJ in March 2010 stated the government crackdown put 52 journalists behind bars, the highest number of detainees recorded in a single country since December 1996.
According to Journalists in Exile, CPJ's 2011 special report, at least 18 Iranian journalists have fled their homes in the past year. Iran topped the list (tied with Cuba) for the second consecutive year as the government continued a crackdown that began with the disputed 2009 election. CPJ's 2010 survey found that at least 29 Iranian editors, reporters, and photographers had fled into exile; the country's total exodus over the past decade is 66, behind only Ethiopia and Somalia.
"I am certain that you share our concerns regarding these developments, which are part of a pattern of human rights violations in Iran. Therefore we would be grateful if the deplorable state of journalists would find its due attention in your report and we would be pleased to provide you with any additional information you may require," Simon wrote.