The Iran regime’s violation of press freedoms getting worse
By Rob Roberts
May 7, Tehran: Following Tuesday’s World Press Freedom Day 2016 the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement saying “the regime’s draconian measures against news organizations have become more aggressive.”
It stated that “not only does the regime severely clamp down on journalists for reporting on subjects sensitive to the mullahs’, it even goes so far as arresting and torturing to death dissident bloggers.”
One of these documented cases of torture is of blogger Sattar Beheshti. A laborer and also blogger Mr. Beheshti was ‘tortured so seriously that he eventually passed away’ at the hands of the Iranian regime in 2012.
And 4 years on, the clerical regime continues to be suspicious of the journalistic right to freedom of expression but also freedom of association. Just 7 days leading up to World Press Freedom Day, the NCRI reported that ‘the Iran regime sentenced 4 reporters to [a collective tally of] 27 years in jail.’
Journalist Afarin Chitsaz was sentenced to 10 years behind bars; also Ehsan Mazandarini was given seven years; while Davood Assadi and Ehsan (Saman) Safarzaie were each handed down a five year sentence.
Giving hope to bring more attention about these violations is a coalition of media groups and journalists who are backing the group Reporters without Borders (RSF). Last Friday the coalition group put out a public call to join the #Protectjournalists campaign.
The call says ‘it is time for journalists to work in a safe environment and to put an end to impunity. It’s time for concrete action.’ Also that ‘extremist violence cannot be resolved without the work of journalists.’
Reporters without Borders (RSF) said Iran is still one of the world’s five biggest prisons for media personnel. And is ranked 173rd out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders 2015 index of countries in violation of press freedoms.
The Oslo Times