WAN Protests Prosecution of Iranian Journalist
Paris, 10 January 2000
For immediate release
The World Association of Newspapers has protested against the prosecution
of a pro-reform journalist in Iran and called on President Mohammed Khatami
to halt the trial.
According to reports, Journalist Said Hajarian of the pro-reform Sobh-e
Emrooz newspaper appeared in Tehran's Press Court last week, accused of
having "disclosed confidential information," though no further
specifics were given.
"The prosecution of Mr. Hajarian is a clear breach of his right
to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international
conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which Iran has ratified," the Paris-based WAN said in a letter
to President Khatami.
The letter, signed by WAN President Bengt Braun, called on the president
"to ensure that the prosecution of Mr. Hajarian is halted immediately
and that all charges are dropped."
WAN said five reformist publications were closed by Iranian authorities
in 1999 and it asked President Khatami "to do everything in your
power to ensure that all Iranian citizens are able to exercise fully their
right to freedom of expression."
It was the second time in as many months that WAN, the global organization
of the newspaper industry, has asked the President to intervene in cases
against pro-reformists. Late last year, WAN condemned the heavy jail sentences
handed out to Iranian editor and former Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri,
and to editor Mashallah Shamsolvaezin.
WAN defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 17,000
newspapers; its membership includes 63 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 93 countries, 17 news agencies and
seven regional and world-wide press groups.
Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 25 rue
d'Astorg, 75008 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42
49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Kilman Director of Communications World Association of Newspapers
25, rue d'Astorg 75008 Paris France Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00 Fax: +33 1 47
42 49 48 E-mail: email@example.com
Visit our web site at www.wan-press.org