Iran: journalists’ accreditation system threatens media freedom
Journalists in Iran may soon require a government licence to work in the country.
The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in expressing its alarm at government’s decision to introduce an accreditation scheme for journalists in Iran.
The proposal announced on 18 September by Mohammad Mahdi Esmaili, minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, will require every journalist to register for a government licence before undertaking their work. No details of the scheme or dates for its start have been announced and there are concerns plans will stifle independent journalism and exacerbate the crackdown on local and international media.
The Iranian government’s attempt to introduce an accreditation system in 2013 was met with opposition and protests from journalists. It appears the new scheme is being pursued without parliamentary approval.
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:
“The licensing system that the Islamic Republic is planning, that will fall under the total control of the Iranian government, seeks to further tighten its grip on journalists. We totally oppose its implementation and remind the Iranian authorities of their international obligations towards human rights and freedom of speech. Journalism is not a crime and the Islamic Republic must release all jailed journalists and media workers in the country.”