Paris, January 27, 2012
France utterly condemns the recent arrests of journalists in Iran. Furthermore, she is extremely concerned about the situation of bloggers Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, for whom death sentences have just been confirmed by the Iranian courts. She reiterates her opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances and her commitment to freedom of expression. She calls on the Iranian authorities to review these unacceptable decisions.
In the run-up to the general election on 2 March, these arrests and sentences, such as the jamming of certain media outlets and the monitoring and censorship of the Internet, constitute further unacceptable violations of the fundamental right of Iranian citizens to have access to free and objective information.
We urge the Iranian authorities to comply effectively with the international commitments to which they have subscribed, and, in particular, to guarantee the full exercise of freedom of opinion and expression and respect for the freedom of the press and the right to information./.