Iran issues media crackdown, arrests 11 journalists for 'foreign contacts'
An Iranian policeman looking up as he stands guard, as shadows of arrested people, who are accused of being thugs, and other policemen guarding them are seen standing on a trailer. (AFP PHOTO/MOJTABA HEYDARI/MEHR NEWS)
As part of their ongoing war on the media, Iranian authorities have arrested 11 local journalists, claiming that they were working with Persian-language media organizations based outside the country, AP reported on Monday.
The 11 arrested include four working for daily papers, one at a weekly paper and one who worked for the semi-official ILNA news agency.
The move is part of the government's continued crackdown on press freedoms, which has previously included denouncing Voice of America and the BBC's Persian service as part of foreign intelligence agencies.
The journalists' editors told AP on Monday that their employees had been arrested the day before because of their "foreign contacts".