CAIRO - An international press group accused Iran of one of the world’s most severe crackdowns on journalists with about 90 reporters arrested last year.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in its annual report on press freedoms released yesterday that Iran is still holding at least 23 writers and editors, second only to China in the number of journalists being detained.
Iran “saw one of the most vicious and widespread crackdowns on the press in recent memory,’’ said the report. It added that the crackdown intensified after the disputed June presidential election.
The report said China holds 24 journalists in its jails.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, the group noted that government agencies continue to enforce heavy-handed press laws, including harassment through courts.
The report said Middle East governments are increasing efforts to stifle free information through the Internet, especially monitoring and harassing bloggers.