New York, May 6, 2010—At least 35 journalists were behind bars in Iran as of May 1 with another 18 detainees free on short-term furloughs, according to CPJ’s monthly census of imprisoned Iranian journalists. The figures, unchanged from CPJ’s April census, reflect a government still intent on silencing free expression.
“Iran’s leadership is taking the country into a period of permanent media repression,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “These policies have done immense damage to Iranian society and the country’s standing in the world.”
Iran remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists, CPJ research shows. China was holding 24 journalists behind bars when CPJ conducted its worldwide census on December 1, 2009. CPJ research shows the number in China has remained stable since that time.
In Iran, most of the 18 furloughed journalists were freed in March for the Iranian New Year but have yet to be taken back into custody. The reformist news Web site Kalame reported that the furloughed writers, many of whom were due back in jail in April, remain free in part because some judicial officials have come to see the imprisonment of journalists as a blot on the judiciary’s record.
CPJ is conducting monthly surveys of journalists imprisoned in Iran in response to the government crackdown. CPJ’s April census also recorded 35 journalists in Iranian prisons with 18 on short-term furlough. The March census recorded 52 journalis… >>>