CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Iran

2010


Blog   |   Iran, Syria, Venezuela

Internet Blotter

  • Venezuela prepares law to regulate media, including the Internet.
  • Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan briefly released from jail on $1.5 million bail...
  • ...but fellow Iranian-Canadian anti-censorship software designer Saeed Malekpour still faces death penalty.
  • Syrian telecom minister says awareness of the dangers, not censorship of the Internet is the solution.
December 10, 2010 4:58 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Stand up for Iranian journalists and sign CPJ's petition

Mohammad Davari (RAHANA)

Just before a new round of nuclear talks with Iran began on December 6, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interviewed a high-ranking Iranian official who indicated that two German journalists detained in Iran would possibly be allowed to spend the Christmas holiday with their families at the German Embassy.

December 10, 2010 4:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela

CPJ Press Freedom Awardee: 'I always wanted answers'

Left to right: Nadira Isayeva, Dawit Kebede, and Laureano Márquez in Washington. (CPJ/Rodney Lamkey Jr.)

The last few weeks have been extremely busy for everyone at CPJ as we've been preparing for the 2010 International Press Freedom Awards. Today's press conference in Washington will be followed by a series of events culminating in our awards ceremony Tuesday in New York. As always, the awardees make it special. 

Blog   |   Egypt, Internet, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, USA

Internet Blotter

  • Egyptian blogger Karim Amer is finally free after four years in prison.
  • Iran launches yet another police force to deal with the Internet, headquartered with the Revolutionary Guard. Its commander says the state plans to quadruple its Internet control budget.
  • Google lobbies U.S. policymakers to consider online censorship a free trade issue.
  • Is breaking into Yahoo e-mail too easy? The Sarah Palin hack revealed flaws in the webmail system's security that can still be exploited.
  • Yet more malicious attacks on computers connected to the Nobel Peace Prize. As with CPJ and other groups, the Nobel Institute's director, Geir Lundestad, received a personalized, but fake e-mail containing malware.
  • Saudi Arabia blocks Facebook over "moral concerns"--then immediately unblocks it, claiming an "error."
November 16, 2010 5:07 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran, Security, USA

Press Club honors jailed Iranian Kouhyar Goudarzi

Goudarzi

The
National Press Club next week will honor an Iranian journalist who is languishing in prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi, an online reporter and human rights activist, was
pursuing an aerospace degree at Sharif Industrial University when security agents put him behind bars, according to the International
Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
. Goudarzi, left, was an editor for Iran's Committee
of Human Rights Reporters and a producer for Radio Zamaneh.


Blog   |   Bahrain, Internet, Iran, Thailand, USA

Internet blotter

October 20, 2010 4:58 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Egypt, Internet, Iran, Pakistan

Internet Blotter

October 19, 2010 2:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Iran

Petition highlights Nokia sales to Iran

Imprisoned Iranian journalist Isa Saharkiz (sabzphoto)

Access, a global Internet freedom advocacy group, has launched a "No To Nokia" petition as part of a campaign supporting Iranian journalist Issa Saharkiz's lawsuit against Nokia Siemens. The Saharkiz lawsuit claims that Nokia Siemen's sales of mobile tracking technology to Iran was instrumental in allowing the Iranian government to locate the journalist when he went into hiding, and led to his subsequent "inhuman and degrading treatment" in prison. Access' petition demands that Nokia and the countries of the E.U. and U.S. "completely end all sales, support, and service of tracking and surveillance technology to governments with a record of human rights abuses. "

The Saharkiz case is being pursued through the U.S. court system using that country's Alien Torts Act, a statute from 1789 that lets American courts hear human rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct outside the United States. It's not the first time this 18th-century law has been used to address 21st-century press freedom issues. The mother of Shi Tao, the Chinese journalist arrested after information taken from his Yahoo! email account was passed onto the Chinese authorites, sued the American search engine under the same law in 2007. Yahoo! eventually settled that case.

Saharkiz is currently serving a three year sentence for "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "propagating against the regime". In May, Saharkhiz was transferred to a prison in Rajaee Shahr, near Karaj, according to the reformist news website Kalame, where he reportedly suffered a heart attack. CPJ has been unable to determine his current state of health.

(Image: Isa Saharkhiz, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from sabzphoto's photostream)

October 18, 2010 2:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

A Golden Pen for Iran's Zaid-Abadi

The World Association of Newspapers on Wednesday honored the jailed Iranian journalist, Ahmad Zaid-Abadi with its Golden Pen of Freedom Award in the German city of Hamburg. Zaid-Abadi, right, was sentenced in 2009 to six years in prison, five years of internal exile, and a lifetime ban on working as a journalist. He is behind bars in Tehran's Evin Prison where, he told Xavier Vidal-Folch, president of World Editor's Forum, "the desperation that jailers create is such that you are convinced it's the end of the world."

Blog   |   Canada, Iran, USA

Derakhshan case: When keeping quiet does not work

Creative Commons

The severity of the nearly 20-year jail sentence handed down to veteran Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, left, has shocked many exiled Iranian journalists and bloggers with whom I've spoken. It's also reinforced their belief that the best way to help jailed colleagues is not through quiet diplomacy but by making a lot of noise.

October 5, 2010 2:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Jailed Iranian journalist Goudarzi receives NPC award

Goudarzi (CHRR)

The National Press Club has announced the recipients of the 2010 John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award, which is given each year to individuals who have contributed to the cause of press freedom and open government. This year, the international recipient is Iranian blogger Kouhyar Goudarzi, who is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison--notorious for its torture of detainees. CPJ wrote earlier this month about a hunger strike in Evin in which several political prisoners, including at least five journalists, protested their inhumane treatment. Goudarzi was one of the protesters. Arrested in December 2009, Goudzari, a former editor of Committee of Human Rights Reporters, has been charged with heresy, propagating against the regime, and participating in illegal gatherings.

Blog   |   Iran, USA

Three hikers in Iran, one year on

American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd wait to see their mothers at a hotel in Tehran, in May. (AP/Press TV)On July 30, three American hikers in Iran will have endured an entire year in custody, held without charge or a modicum of due process. This is obviously a terrible injustice, so much so that it surprises me when I mention their situation to skeptical friends or colleagues who believe that the three were foolish to hike along the Iranian border and should have anticipated the consequences.
July 27, 2010 3:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela

As dissidents move online, governments fight back

A new show on PBS says the problem with the rise in cyber dissent is that governments like Iran are "pretty good at social media too."Social media and cyber dissidents have exerted a increasing influence on global politics over the last few years—Twitter, for instance, was widely utilized by protesters and journalists during Iran’s 2009 post-election Green Movement, and China has been locked in conflict with Google over allegations of censorship and hacking. “Ideas in Action” with Jim Glassman, a half-hour weekly show on PBS, is airing an episode this weekend called “Cyber Dissidents: How the Internet is Changing Dissent.” Already online, the show details how authoritarian regimes are working hard to quash this rising form of opposition.

Blog   |   India, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Turkey

Living in limbo: The ongoing wait of journalists in exile

A supporter of former presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi holds an anti-Ahmadinejad newspaper during a Tehran rally in June 2009. (Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters)The e-mails started on July 15, 2009, and have continued ever since—pleas for help from Iranian journalists who fled their country often with little money and scarce provisions to northern Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, and a host of other locales around the world. Many lived in hiding throughout Iran for weeks or months before crossing perilous borders when it soon became apparent that their homes and country were no longer safe havens for their return.
June 17, 2010 10:26 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iran, USA

We must speak out for the imprisoned in Iran

Saberi (Reuters)On the one-year anniversary of Iran’s disputed June 12 presidential election, it is a good opportunity for those of us who enjoy certain freedoms to speak out for journalists in Iran who are struggling to make their own voices heard.
June 9, 2010 4:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran, USA

Iran isn't laughing at The Daily Show

The Daily Show’s Jason Jones mocks journalistic conventions to hilarious effect. But Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are not known for their sense of humor, and let’s just say they didn’t get the joke.

May 19, 2010 5:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Iran, USA

Columbia J-students learn the price of reporting in Iran

Maziar Bahari (Newsweek)

The two venues for the launch of Attacks on the Press in New York couldn’t have been more different. On Tuesday morning I was joined by Newsweek’s Maziar Bahari, and CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz in the hushed auditorium of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at United Nations headquarters. The event was so well attended by the U.N. press corps that we ran out of copies of the book. The press conference went for more than an hour until I was slipped a note saying the U.N. spokesman needed the podium for the U.N. daily briefing.

Blog   |   Iran, USA

At U.N, Bahari and CPJ urge global attention

Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari helped us launch Attacks on the Press at the United Nations in New York today. Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian citizen, was labeled an enemy of the Iranian regime and cruelly imprisoned for 118 days last year in Tehran. His very presence today, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney noted, was testament to the “tremendous efforts of press freedom groups around the world" that have advocated for the release of jailed journalists. But with at least 47 journalists in jail in Iran as of February 1, according to CPJ research, it’s still a “pretty grim picture,” Mahoney said. 

February 16, 2010 2:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Bahari to Iran: 'Let my colleagues go'

In the February 10 edition of the International Herald Tribune, Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, himself imprisoned in Iran for 118 days, urges Ayatollah Khamenei to release his jailed colleagues.

February 11, 2010 11:40 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Iran

Reaching out to CPJ’s award winner, imprisoned in Iran

AP

The relentless crackdown on the press in Iran is, well, relentless. In the last few days we have received word that 11 more journalists have been arrested, including former CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, at left.

There are 23 other journalists already in prison in Iran, according to the global census CPJ carried out on December 1. Scores of other journalists have been arrested and released; mores still have been intimidated, beaten and harassed.

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