Iran / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Iran since 1992

  
An Iranian woman wearing a protective face mask chooses traditional items ahead of Nowruz, the national New Year celebration, at the Tajrish Bazaar in the capital Tehran on March 19, 2020, despite the heavy death toll due the novel coronavirus in the country. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government has covered up crucial information and threatened journalists. (AFP/Stringer)

Amid coronavirus pandemic, Iran covers up crucial information and threatens journalists

In recent months, the stability of the Iranian government has been threatened by widespread protests in late 2019 and the shooting down of a Ukrainian civilian aircraft in January 2020 amid heightened tensions with the U.S. The latest threat is the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Iran harder than any country except China or Italy.…

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An internet cafe manager works on his computer in Tehran, Iran on July 25, 2019. Iranian journalists say monitored connections and technology companies' concerns about U.S. government sanctions are making it harder for them to bypass censorship. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

To cement internet control, Iran helps journalists get online

In early 2020, a journalist in Iran received a form from Iran’s National E-commerce Union, a nominally independent group that is close to the government, requesting their name, the news website they work for, and their IP address. “With all due respect,” it read, “provide the following information to prevent any potential problem during future…

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Campaign posters pictured in Tehran on February 20. Ahead of parliamentary elections, authorities increased pressure on Iran's journalists with arrests, detentions and legal action. (Supplied to Reuters via West Asia News Agency/Nazanin Tabatabaee)

Iran harasses, intimidates journalists ahead of parliamentary elections

Elections are always problematic for journalists in Iran, as the government attempts to threaten the press into silence. The parliamentary elections on February 21 are no exception.

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Iranian journalist Pouyan Khoshhal, pictured, fled his home country after being detained for over two months and later sentenced to six years in prison over a single word. (Pouyan Khoshhal)

Iranian journalist imprisoned, fired, and forced into exile over a single word

In October 2018, authorities arrested Pouyan Khoshhal as he drove through the northern Iranian city of Rasht, by the Caspian Sea. The reason for the journalist’s arrest: his use of the word “death” instead of “martyrdom” to describe a Shiite saint in an article for the reformist newspaper Ebtekar.

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A demonstration calling for LGBT rights in Trinidad and Tobago on April 12. Journalists covering LGBTQ issues say they often face retaliation for their work. (Reuters/Andrea de Silva)

Covering LGBTQ issues brings risk of threats and retaliation for journalists and their sources

To mark the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, CPJ spoke with journalists and news outlets based in Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, the U.S., Uganda, and Russia, about the challenges they face reporting on LGBTQ issues.

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President Rouhani, pictured in Tehran on November 6. The U.N. is due to vote next week on a resolution to promote human rights in Iran. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

CPJ calls on UN to support resolution on human rights in Iran

CPJ, along with over 30 Iranian and international human rights organizations, has called on the U.N. General Assembly to vote in favor of a proposed resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran next week.

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A worker cleans a EU flag in Berlin on May 19, 2017. The EU parliament is due to vote on October 12 on a proposed review mechanism of surveillance tool exports. (AFP/John MacDougall)

Press at risk as EU-based companies export surveillance software to hostile regimes

In August, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told the daily newspaper Information that the government had authorized sales of online surveillance software to several Middle Eastern countries. While acknowledging the potential for human rights violations that could result from the use of these tools, the minister said that Denmark has an interest in the fight…

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Supporters of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani wave flags during a campaign rally in Tehran on May 9. Iranian authorities have targeted messaging app Telegram ahead of the May 19 elections. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

Iran targets Telegram app as it seeks to control news ahead of May election

Iran has a history of cracking down on the independent press ahead of elections, with authorities arresting journalists and forcing reformist outlets to shut down. As Iranians prepare to vote in presidential and city council elections on May 19, authorities have turned their attention to Telegram, arresting several channel administrators for the app.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, at the opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in February. The council is due to vote on renewing the mandate of a special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

CPJ joins call to renew mandate of Iran human rights rapporteur

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 40 human rights groups calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to support the resolution to renew the mandate of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A vote on the resolution is scheduled to take place during the…

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President Hassan Rouhani, pictured at a press conference in March 2016, has submitted a draft bill to parliament that proposes creating a state-regulated organization to oversee the country's press. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Why proposed bill could mean the end of independent journalism in Iran

The Iranian government will address the United Nation’s General Assembly this month for the last time before President Hassan Rouhani seeks re-election next year. The international appearance would be a good chance for Rouhani’s administration to discuss its record in office.

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