Watchdog blasts Iran as worst press freedoms violator in region

 Tue. 07 Nov 2006

Iran Focus

London, Nov. 07 – The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its annual report ranked Iran as the worst violator of press freedoms in the Middle East.

RSF ranked Iran at 162 out of 168 countries in its 2006 annual Press Freedom Index.

The top media watchdog said that Iran had “no independent media, only organs that spout government propaganda”.

“Self-censorship remains the best protection for journalists. Foreign journalists can only rarely get entry visas”, it said.

“The rulers of [Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia] keep a tight grip on the news and have set many red lines journalists must not cross”, the report said.

The international press freedoms group frequently criticises media censorship and violation of journalists’ rights in Iran.