05 Jul 08

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President, Islamic Republic of Iran

Brussels 2 July 2008

Dear Mr. President,

In a June 24 communication the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs notified to the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ) of its dissolution.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) as the body representing journalists’ unions and associations around the world has worked for many years with the AoIJ which we recognise, both in terms of its leadership and its democratic status. Consulted by the Association, the IFJ has supported its 2006 congress and all legal steps taken following elections at this time. We also support the AoIJ proposal for fresh elections this summer, to which an IFJ observer will attend, as part of a monitoring process.

At this stage, we cannot understand why there should be any questioning of the legality or otherwise of the work of the Association. The Association should be allowed to continue to exist and to continue its activities. Its board has been elected in a transparent and credible process. The Board is democratically legitimate in the eyes of the association’s members, the IFJ and the international media community as a whole.

Mr. President, we urge you to reconsider the conditions of this matter. We particularly ask you to consider the legal reference set out in article 4 of the International Labor Office Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association: “Workers' and employers' organisations shall not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority”.

We call on your government to respect the independence of the AoIJ and not to interfere in this internal democratic process.

We hope that rule of law will be respected and that the AoIJ, a full member of the IFJ, will be able to continue its work and preparation of its Congress.

Yours Sincerely

Aidan White
General Secretary

COPY:
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Tehran - Iran.
International Labor Office (ILO), Geneva - Switzerland.
Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), Tehran - Iran.


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