The board of an Iranian journalists union, has resigned en-masse protesting the refusal of the Islamic Republic authorities to register their association.
According to a statement posted on the website of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Friday, August 25, the board of the Association of Tehran Journalists has accused the authorities of illegal processes including attempting to impose unelected members to serve on the board.
The association’s letter was addressed to “Journalists and Members of the General Assembly of the Association of Tehran Journalists".
They claim that eight months since their general assembly, President Hassan Rouhani’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affair, refused to allow registration of their association despite “all of our efforts, negotiations, correspondence and follow ups," their statement said.
According to IFJ website, they claim the General Directorate of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare of the Tehran Province continued to not publish the announcement of the establishment of the Association and unofficially attempted to impose illegal solutions as the precondition for the official registration of the Association.
The aforementioned resignation has reported comprised the main board members and reserves in an effort to what they called as “accepting the illegal processes”.
After promises made by president Rouhani were not delivered the members began to establish a new union to represent journalists in Tehran.
In response, IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger has blasted the Iranian authorities and accused them of “continuing to denying Iranian journalists their fundamental rights”.
Mr. Bellanger vowed to continue to support the right of all journalists in Iran to establish, organize and run their own union.
President Rouhani has been increasingly under attack for what critics say is the lack of commitment to his campaign promises.
A few weeks ago, news broke that Rouhani had sought Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's preapproval of his cabinet. Some MPs criticized the move, arguing it would limit their leeway. Subsequently, Khamenei’s office issued a statement denying his role in the nomination of “all” cabinet ministers.