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Freedom to publish under siege: IPA report slams censorship in Iran

(IPA/IFEX) - Geneva, 18 June 2009 - Today the International Publishers Association (IPA) launched a report on freedom to publish in Iran entitled "Freedom to Publish Under Siege in the Islamic Republic of Iran". The report describes the mechanisms of censorship used in Iran and makes specific demands to curb censorship through an "IPA Road Map for Freedom to Publish in Iran". The report shows how important it is for freedom of expression organisations, as well as the international community, to monitor freedom of expression-related developments in Iran, especially in the current political context.

"Freedom to Publish Under Siege In Iran" is a report based on the monitoring of the policies restricting freedom to publish, and on meetings with publishers, associations, writers and government representatives, over several years, in and outside of Iran. The report is being launched worldwide on 18 June 2009 from Geneva, Switzerland. It is available online at: http://tinyurl.com/l3xt6v .

Bjørn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA's Freedom to Publish Committee, declares: "The love for books still exists in Iran, but these days the average print run has gone down dramatically. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is: Censorship. People have lost faith in the content made available to them for, when it is available, it is likely to have been carved up". He added: "IPA urges the Iranian government to lift the permit system restricting the publication and distribution of books in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is in direct breach of Iran's obligations under international law. Ahead of Iran's review at the UN Human Rights Council early next year, this would be seen as an encouraging step in the right direction by the international publishing community".


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