Omidreza Mirsayafi

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Iran continues to jail dozens of journalists, stifling critical news coverage and commentary. Crucial links to the international community have been cut off as the June presidential vote approaches. A CPJ special report by Sherif Mansour 

New York, April 18, 2013--The cases of an Iranian blogger imprisoned for seven months without trial and a prominent freelance journalist whose health has deteriorated in prison illustrate the ongoing abuses being perpetrated by Iranian authorities, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Top Developments
• Dozens of journalists are detained in massive post-election crackdown.
•  Numerous critical newspapers, Web sites censored or shut down.

Key Statistic
23: Journalists imprisoned as of December 1, 2009.


Amid the greatest national political upheaval since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran launched a full-scale assault on the media and the opposition. In mid-June, mass protests erupted in response to official election results showing incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning by a large margin against his main opposition challenger, reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The government responded with a wide-ranging and cruel campaign to suppress dissent. As protests against perceived electoral fraud spiraled into mass demonstrations, Iranian authorities threw dozens of journalists behind bars (where many were reportedly tortured), shuttered and censored news outlets, and barred foreign journalists from reporting. During the protests and crackdown, blogs and social media sites became front-line news sources. The crackdown increased the level of repression in a regime already hostile toward the press, and followed the months-long imprisonment of an Iranian-American freelance journalist, Roxana Saberi.

CPJ survey finds at least 68 journalists killed in 2009

Family members of journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre. (Reuters)

New York, December 17, 2009—At least 68 journalists worldwide were killed for their work in 2009, the highest yearly tally ever documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the organization said in its year-end analysis. The record toll was driven in large part by the election-related slaughter of more than 30 media workers in the Philippine province of Maguindanao, the deadliest event for the press in CPJ history.

I'm a cartoonist so even when writing a story or working as radio correspondent, I'm checking out the empty half of the glass. As blogger it's no different; my inner cartoonist lurks in the dark. I've followed the Iranian "Bloggistan" since day one, and started my Persian blog after learning how to type. Funny? Not at all! Many Iranian journalists didn't start typing until 2002, when they found out that they could publish their censored stuff under different pseudonyms.
In the Middle East and North Africa, where political change occurs slowly, blogging has becomes a serious medium for social and political commentary as well as a target of government suppression. By Mohamed Abdel Dayem

                        

New York, May 11, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the release today of freelance journalist Roxana Saberi, and called on the Iranian government to safeguard the rights of several other journalists currently in jail.

New York, May 5, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the well-being of convicted Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who has been treated at Evin Prison's hospital during a hunger strike to protest her confinement, according to international news reports. A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said today that a court of appeals will hear Saberi's case next week, Reuters reported.

New York, April 8, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news reports that the Iranian government has charged Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi with espionage. 

New York, March 25, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a news report indicating that Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi might remain in a Tehran prison for a prolonged period. In a telephone conversation with her father, Saberi said a prosecutor told her she would remain in detention for "months or even years," The New York Times reported today.

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