A group of Iranian journalists has openly criticized President Hassan Rohani for claiming that reporters are not being jailed in the Islamic republic.
Rohani made the remark in an interview with CNN in New York on September 26.
He told the U.S. cable television network: "I do not believe that an individual would be detained or put in prison for being a journalist."
But an open letter on October 2, signed by 135 journalists and activists, says the Iranian president is “distorting and denying reality."
The letter accuses Rohani of not living up to his election promise to ease government controls on the media.
In June, the press rights group Reporters Without Borders said it knew of 58 journalists who were being jailed in Iran.
It said: "Iran is still one of the world’s five biggest prisons for news and information providers."