BRUSSELS, March 20 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned Monday the arrest of three journalists in just one week ahead of the presidential election in May in Iran.
The recent arrest of journalists Morad Saghafi, Hengameh Shahidi and Ehsan Mazandarani was the "latest in a major crackdown on media in the lead up to the presidential election", scheduled for 19 May, said the IFJ in a statement.
"We strongly condemn the arrest of our colleagues in Iran and the harassment of citizens sharing information or expressing their views on social platforms," said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.
"Sadly, this has become routine at election times when the authorities resort to silencing public debate. Yet, freedom of expression is the keystone in any democratic system and journalists should be able to report without fear of intimidation, especially ahead of any election, so that citizens have access to all kinds of information sources," he added.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents around 600,000 journalists in 140 countries worldwide. (end)