Journalists protest Iran’s linguistic discrimination to join IFJ

A group of journalists protested to the Association of Iranian Journalists (AOIJ)’s Farsi-only mandate as a condition for membership.

AOIJ which has been shut down for several years by an order from the notorious then-Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi has remained semi-active behind the closed doors. It’s elected president Rajabali Mazrooei lives outside of Iran.

This Iranian organization has been a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) whose mandate is to promote freedom of speech.

“IFJ promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists,” read their website.

Nonetheless, the AOIJ has introduced a Farsi-only policy to accept members which is in sharp contrast with IFJ mandates and international laws that ban linguistic discrimination.

This criterion for membership violates national laws as well since Iran with its suppressive one-language policy allows some bi-lingual publications.

“Even though non-Farsi speakers in Iran have faced restrictions in applying their mother language in media and educational systems, they are offered the opportunity to publish in bi-lingual publications, alongside Farsi. For this reason, some journalists only write in their own language and not in Farsi,” the statement reads.

“To deprive journalists who write in their mother tongue from joining international circles is an unacceptable act of discrimination. This condition not only violates global laws, also Iran’s law that allows some use of mother languages,” it adds.

Among the signatories of the statement is the newly-released Kurdish journalist Muhammad Sediq Kaboudvand who spent over a decade in nefarious Evin prison for documenting Iran’s violation of human rights in the Kurdish region.

The journalists demand that IFJ in loyalty to its anti-discriminatory spirit immediately ask AOIJ to revoke the Farsi-only criterion and judge journalists based on their work ethics and not the language they use.

Source » kurdistan24

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