Günter Nooke, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (1 May) in honour of the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May:
"World Press Freedom Day reminds us that much information would not be available were it not for the courageous commitment of journalists. Journalists face danger not only in war and crisis zones, but also in places where freedom of the press is threatened by authoritarian regimes.
Just a few days ago, a Tehran court's dubious conviction of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi caused outrage around the world. I call on the Iranian Government to respect the commitments it has made to human rights in various international conventions and to release all detained media representatives."
The Iranian press law contains ideological provisions and a list of criminal offences that encourage major restrictions on freedom of the press and opinion. Time and again in Iran newspapers that present critical views are shut down and critical journalists are threatened and intimidated. In addition to Ms Saberi, at least six other journalists and two bloggers are currently detained in Iran. There are concerns that the restrictive press law will soon also be applied to internet media.
Read more on Germany's bilateral relations to Iran: