Journalist group criticizes Iran press clampdown
PARIS (Reuters) - International media watchdog Reporters without Borders
(RsF) Monday accused Iran's supreme leader of turning his country into
a huge jail for journalists and published an Internet petition seeking
the release of those held. RsF report here
The Paris-based RsF, which also called for an end to a crackdown on
pro-reform newspapers, said 14 Iranian journalists were being held and
another 16 faced prosecution and possible arrest.
``(Iran's supreme leader) Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei has turned his country
into the world's largest prison for journalists,'' RsF Secretary-General
Robert Menard said in a statement.
The group displayed on its Web site (www.rsf.fr) a list of detained
journalists and a petition to demand their release and the repeal of Iran's
Around 25 reformist publications have been shut down and journalists
and editors jailed for alleged insults against Islamic values and undermining
national security since April, when Khamenei accused the independent press
of being ``bases of the enemy.''
Khamenei earlier this month personally ordered parliament to kill debate
on reforming the press law.