13. December 2007
Mohammad Hossein Safar Harandi
Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture
Dear Mohammad Hossei Safar Harandi
PEN International reports its deepening concern that book censorship in Iran has tightened dramatically since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005. PEN is distressed that the rise in book censorship appear to be part of a widespread crackdown on free expression, and reminds the Iranian authorities of their commitment to Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
It appears that thousands of new and previously published works have been blacklisted by Iranian authorities and the publishing industry is said to be in crisis.
PEN would like to ask you to look into this intensified censorship and see to it that the situation is being altered in a way that will further freedom of expression in your country.
With sincere respect
Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN