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Authorities attempt to silence international broadcasts

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, March 27, 2012 - All 27 members of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI), the world's oldest global press freedom organisation, today passed a resolution strongly condemning an escalating campaign by the Iranian government to silence free and independent media in Iran.

International broadcasters including the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America have all recently highlighted deliberate electronic interference by the Iranian authorities which is affecting their broadcasts.

BBC Persian TV has suffered deliberate interference to its broadcasting signals intermittently since its launch and the online service has consistently been blocked. This directly contravenes Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and IPI calls on those responsible to stop these attempts to prevent audiences in Iran from accessing balanced international news.

In recent months, new tactics have been introduced which should be of profound concern to all those who believe in a free and independent international media.

In particular, IPI condemns the intimidation of the families and acquaintances in Iran of BBC Persian's London-based staff. All journalists should be allowed to operate freely and any attempt to harass or pressure those known to them is very concerning.

IPI calls on governments around the world and the relevant regulatory bodies to put maximum pressure on Iran in an effort to stop this systematic and persistent campaign of intimidation and censorship.

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