Thursday, May 01, 2008

Freedom of the information has become impossible !

Report on the media suppression in 2007!
Special translation by:IRAN WATCH CANADA

Shahram Rafizadeh
April 30,2008

23 day after the arrest and no news about Masud Rafiei Taleghani the journalist of "Farhang Ashti "and "Etemad" newspapers and a blogger , the Association of Iranian Journalist on the coming of May the 3rd the World Press Freedom Day has published a report and announced that ; 29 publication were closed , 15 journalists were arrested, 17 journalists were summoned or interrogated and 39 sentences were issued against Iranian journalists.

Masud Rafiei Taleghani was arrested by the security forces but until now no judiciary official has taken the responsibility about this arrest and no report was published about his where about and his charges.

Latest arrest

Last Friday and after close to three weeks Mr. Esmail Jafari a photojournalist for “Bushehr” local weeklies who was arrested since April 7 while taking picture from a strike by the workers of “Sadra” company was released . One day before him , Masud Rafiei Taleghani journalist of the “Farhang Ashti” and “ Etemad “ newspaper was arrested by the plain cloths security agents, news which was announced with two weeks delay by the Association of Iranian Journalist. It was reported that after the arrest the agents searched his home and confiscated some of his writing and documents.

Harsh year

The Association of Iranian Journalist believe that; the situation for the journalists and media compare to previous year based on judiciary issues have become worse and media and journalist paid heavy price . The government organization like the Press jury has increased their pressure and restriction on journalists and media including the web writers and online news agencies. The restriction also included continuous filtering and closure of some of the news agencies , websites , and online news agencies such as ILNA , Baztab, Nosazi and the website which were reporting and analyzing the situation of women.

According to the Association of Iranian journalists during the last year up to the month of May 2008 , 29 publication which some of them like “Mahnameh Zanan” ( Women Monthly ) and bimonthly of “ Donyaye Tasvir “ which was publishing for 16to 17 years and some like “Arya” newspaper was closed before publishing. “Sharq” and “Hammihan” were the most popular newspaper that were closed during the last year.

“39 cases of criminal charges and conviction of journalists to prison, cash penalty, lashes, ban on departure from the country, exile, bail payment and preparing surety were another part of the widespread systemic oppression of media during the last year. 15 journalists from May last year up to now were arrested and 10 journalists are currently in the prison and according to the Association of Iranian journalists 17 journalists have been summoned to the public prosecutors office. And in addition more than 120 trial session have been taken for the managing editors and journalists .

Ordering for the removal of the criticizing media

The media watch dogs have acted repeatedly and arbitrarily on canceling the publications licenses or ordered their closure. Actions which shows the “ removal of the criticizing publications and those who ‘s thoughts are different from the ruling state “

This situation has endangered the “job security and professional independency “ of the Iranian journalists.

According to a report by the Association of Iranian journalists “ the growth of the criticizing media has reached to zero and in the year 2007 only two publications was given to special interest people who agreed with the existing situation “ . In addition red lines have been increased during the last year which increasingly tightened the flow of free information and news in the country”.

Link to this news in Farsi:

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