The media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is urging candidates running in Iran's upcoming presidential election to commit to the unconditional release of the 13 journalists and bloggers currently being held in the country.
RSF says that more than 100 news media have been censored since August 2005 and more than 100 journalists and bloggers have been arrested and prosecuted. In 2008 alone, it says, 30 newspapers were suspended. More journalists are jailed in Iran than in any other Middle Eastern country.In a statement
, RSF says the next Iranian president must show that he can get Iran to evolve in a democratic direction, something that is not possible without a free and independent press.