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Europes public broadcasters call on Iran to remove obstacles to journalists - 28-June-2009, 19:40

Europes public broadcasters call on Iran to remove obstacles to journalists

Europes public broadcasters call on Iran to remove obstacles to journalists

Europes public service broadcasters today called on Iran to remove all obstacles to journalists working in that country and to respect the right to freedom of speech as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We are gravely concerned about the safety of journalists in Iran, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement adopted unanimously by its General Assembly, hosted in Copenhagen by Denmarks public service broadcaster DR. We urge the Iranian authorities to immediately remove all obstacles for national and international media to work unconditionally in their efforts to cover the aftermath of the Presidential election.

The Geneva-based EBU brings together 75 public service broadcasters in 56 countries in and around Europe. It also has 43 associate members elsewhere around the world including Irans state broadcaster IRIB. Although IRIB provided services to the EBUs Eurovision News Operations department, enabling European broadcasters to report on the situation in Iran, the EBU this week withdrew its invitation for IRIB to attend the Copenhagen assembly.

The EBU said that free, independent, and pluralistic media are a precondition to any modern society aspiring to respect the will and power of its citizenry. No such society can ever benefit from a citizenry blinded from an enlightened understanding of the current affairs of its nation and the wider perspective of a globalised world, the Assembly statement said. The imminent dangers of information deprivation and distortion are of immense concern to the General Assembly.

The EBU Assembly went on to cite Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights regarding freedom of expression: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The Iranian state broadcaster, IRIB, is an associate member of the EBU.

The General Assembly, with this Statement, wishes to stress the importance of Iranian authorities respecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Expression. Journalistic independence is a basic value to the Members of the EBU.


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