World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Iran, 15 December 2014

Protest Campaign - Iran, 15 December 2014

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His Excellency Hassan Rouhani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran


15 December 2014


Your Excellency,


We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at the continued detention of journalist Jason Rezaian.

According to reports, on 6 December prosecutors brought unspecified charges against US-Iranian journalist Mr Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, who has been detained since his arrest on 22 July. Mr Rezaian was arrested with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, and an unnamed photojournalist and his wife. Three of those arrested were eventually released on bail, but Mr Rezaian was detained in Evin prison for more than four months without charge.

Prosecutors have reportedly not allowed the lawyer hired by Mr Rezaian's family to defend him, to speak with him, or to review his case file.

We respectfully remind you that jailing a journalist for carrying out his duties constitutes a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states: 'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.'

We respectfully call on you to ensure that Mr Rezaian is immediately released from prison. We urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure that any charges that have been brought against him are made public, and that if they are based on his work as a journalist they are dropped. We urge you to respect the work of journalists, local and foreign, and to ensure that in future your government fully observes its international obligations to freedom of expression.


We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Yours sincerely,


Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum



WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2014-12-15 10:35

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...