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France condemns Iran for press arrests and sentencing

PARIS, Jan 27 (KUNA) - The French government condemned Iran on Friday for a series of press arrests and for the death sentences confirmed for two Iranian bloggers and Paris called for "the revision of these unacceptable decisions." A Foreign Ministry statement said that France is "extremely concerned about the situation of bloggers Saeed Malekpur and Vahid Asghari who have seen earlier death sentences against them confirmed in past days.
France also "condemned with the greatest firmness" a recent wave of arrests of journalists and denounced these practices as an attempt to control the press ahead of legislative elections on March 2.
The Foreign Ministry said Iranian authorities were "jamming certain media, controlling and censoring the internet and arresting and condemning" journalists.
These are "new and unacceptable obstacles to the fundamental rights of Iranian citizens to have free and objective information, which is rarely the case," spokesman Bernard Valero said.
France called on Iran to respect the international commitments it has signed in the relevant areas of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. (End) jk.ajs KUNA 271740 Jan 12NNNN