News / Middle East

Iranian Opposition: 15 Publications Threatened with Closure

Multimedia

Audio

Iranian opposition websites are reporting Iran has threatened to shut down 15 more newspapers and periodicals.  The warning further intensifies pressure on the already limited number of papers allowed to publish.

Opposition websites, including Rah e Sabz and Ayande News say the government's press censorship arm, the Ministry of Islamic Guidance, has warned 15 daily and weekly periodicals not to publish articles critical of the government or its ministers.

Those publications include daily papers, as well as economic and cultural publications, such as Emrouz, Bahar, Towse'e, Rouzan, Jahan-e Eqtesad, Ettelaat, Asrar, Jaha-e San'at, Mardomslari, Arman-e Ravabet-e Omumi, Jomhouri, Poul, Farhikhtegan, and Afarinesh.

Ali Nourizadeh of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London says the Iranian government has intensified its scrutiny of the press.

"The deputy minister of Islamic Guidance said he has called upon several pro-government university professors and he asked them to read all newspapers daily, word by word and to report to him whether they have crossed the red line or not.  So, any kind of criticism of Ahmedinejad, his government, his ministers, his deputy ministers would be considered hostile," he said.

Ayande News says one delicate subject is the ongoing controversy around President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Meshaie, who is also the father of his son-in-law.

Opposition websites reported recently Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and other hardline parliament members are trying to force President Ahmedinejad to dump Rahim-Meshaie.  Last fall, Parliament voted against Rahim-Mashaie's nomination to be first vice-president.

Nourizadeh says publications have been told they will be given "warnings" for each infraction and will be "shut down" after several warnings.  He emphasizes the Iranian press is in bad shape due to ongoing censorship, newspaper closings, and arrests of journalists.

"Based on the official number of jailed journalists and writers, we have 76 of them in prison, and prison is hanging over the heads of more than 200 of them, and also we have journalists who are out of work-around 1200 of them are out of work-so the situation is the worst we ever faced during 31 years of Islamic Republic rule," he said.

Iran analyst Meir Javedanfar of the MEEPAS Center in Tel Aviv says Iranian censorship sometimes includes attacking newspaper offices and threatening journalists:

"During the last Gaza War there was a newspaper that had its offices evacuated because it published an article that said both sides [Hamas and Israel] are to blame and because it also criticized Hamas.  The editors were threatened and the office had to close down and they went and torched the premises," said Javedanfar.

Following Iran's disputed June presidential election, pro-government Basiji militiamen ransacked newspapers belonging to presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.  Journalists at both publications were also arrested.
 

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid