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Iran

2012

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Iran is the world's worst jailer of the press. Detentions rise in the Middle East and North Africa.

Two years after a contested presidential election, Tehran continued to use the mass imprisonment of journalists to silence dissent and quash critical news coverage. Imprisoned journalists suffered greatly amid the crowded and unsanitary conditions of notorious prisons such as Rajaee Shah and Evin. The health of many detainees severely deteriorated, while numerous others suffered abuse at the hands of prison guards. The detainees also faced a battery of punitive measures, from the denial of family visits to placement in solitary confinement. Authorities continued a practice of freeing some prisoners on furloughs while making new arrests. Six-figure bonds were often posted by the furloughed journalists who faced immense political pressure to falsely implicate their colleagues in crimes. While some large international news organizations maintained a presence in Tehran, their journalists could not move or report freely, particularly outside the capital. Politically sensitive topics such as the country's nuclear program or its plan to eliminate subsidies were largely off-limits to local and international reporters. The government also restricted adversarial reporting by using sophisticated technology to block websites, jamming satellite signals, and banning publications.

New York, February 14, 2012--The Iranian regime continued its sustained crackdown on the press, arresting a blogger, handing a journalist a harsh prison term, and banning a reformist news publication, according to news reports. The regime has also announced the mass arrest of several individuals with alleged links to the BBC Persian-language service, news reports said.

An Iranian hardline student protests against the BBC during a demonstration outside the British embassy in Tehran on August 14, 2011. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

New York, February 3, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention and harassment in Iran of relatives of BBC Persian service staff who work outside the country, which is part of a sustained campaign to intimidate journalists into not reporting critically on Tehran's activities.

New York, February 2, 2012--At least 10 Iranian journalists were jailed in the month of January as the government continued its crackdown on dissent ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled in March, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Recent news reports identified three previously undisclosed arrests.

Google+, real names and real problems

At the launch of Google+, Google's attempt to create an integrated social network similar to Facebook, I wrote about the potential benefits and risks of the new service to journalists who use social media in dangerous circumstances.

Despite early promises of relatively flexible terms of service at Google+, the early days of implementation were full of arbitrary account suspensions - particularly of pseudonymous users - and the appeals process was unclear. The result was a lot of early bad press for the service from the traditional "first adopter" crowd, a framing it has subsequently struggled to escape.

New York, January 20, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the most recent spate of press freedom violations in Iran and calls on authorities to immediately reverse its crackdown on the press. 

Online publishers, developers sentenced to death in Iran

Politically-related Iranian prosecutions often take place in near secrecy, with unclear charges morphing and changing over time. It doesn't get any easier to work out the motivations of prosecutors when the charges are connected to technology.

2012

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Killed in Iran

4 journalists killed since 1992

2 journalists murdered

2 murdered with impunity

Attacks on the Press 2012

45 Imprisoned in December, the second highest figure in the world.

Country data, analysis »

Contact

Middle East
and North Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sherif Mansour

Research Associate:
Jason Stern

smansour@cpj.org
jstern@cpj.org

Tel: +1 (212) 300-9018,
+1 (212) 300-9017
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @CPJMena

فيسبوك : لجنة حماية الصحفيين بالعربية

Blog: Sherif Mansour
Blog: Jason Stern

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