A Glimpse of Iranian Regime's Repressive Record in Regards to the Press
- Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI)
- 08/06/2001 00:00:00
May 3rd of each year is the world day of free press, the day of prasing the important role of the press as the fourth pillar of democracy, and the day of appreciating the journalists and writers who carry the heavy burden of getting knowledge across and informing world citizens. If in the developed world, the countries that enjoy their established democracies, people are celebrating such an important day and cherish journalists and the press for their hard efforts and endless service to humanity, in our dictatorized Iran, ever since the first newspaper was published (May 1st 1837), journalists, those fearless intellectuals -- who except their pen do not possess anything else to defend themselves -- have been under continious threat, imprisonment, torture, terror, … and oppressed by the authoritarian rulers.
Intellectuals such as Mirza Salih Shirazi set the basis of journalism in Iran with the publication of the first newspaper, and other notable individuals such as Molkom Khan, Mirza Ali-Khan Akhoond-zadeh, Ali Akbar Deh-khoda, Jahangir Khan Soor-Esrafil, Malak-Ashoarae Bahar, Mirzadeh Eshghi, Sayied Ashraf-aldin Hoseini, and etc…through publishing newspapers and journals such as Serate Mostaghim, Watan, Sobhe Sadegh, Kashkol, Nedae Siasi, Zabane Melat, Habl-almatin, Soor Asrafil, Nasim Shomal, developed fruitful seeds of journalism before and after the constitutional movement with their hard works and good efforts.
The story of Iranian journalism is filled with tears, blood, prosecution and torture. It consists of bloody story of thousands of freedom-loving writers who as Siavash crossed the pile of fire to show the truth to the Iranian civilian population. They were prosecuted in torture houses of today and yesterday’s tyrants, and were sent to the death rolls group by group, but still remianed faithful to the true path they had chosen.
Together, in short we will only review a glimpse of this bitter history during the tyranical ruling of the regime of Islamic Republic.
Execution of writers in the first year after the Revolution:
1. Ali Asghar Amirani, publisher of the periodical Khandaniha, age over 75, shot to death in 1980.
2. Hamid Noori, publisher of the newspaper Dod, age over 75, shot to death in 1980.
3. Nawab Safawi, internal chief editor and columnist for the newspaper Enghelab Eslami, shot to death in 1981.
4. Manuchehr Behzadi, chief editor of the publication Mardom, shot to death in 1983.
5. Faraj-ollah Mizani, Columnist for the publication Mardom, shot to death in 1983.
6. Rahman Hatifi, chief editor of the newspaper Keyhan, and publisher of Nawid before and after the Revolution, shot to death.
7. Saeed Sultanpour, poet and journalist, was detained and shot to death in the night of his marriage ceremony (March 1980).
8. Dr. Sayhoon Farzadi, chief editor of Jhournal in Tehran and reporter for the French news agency in Iran, shot to death.
9. Karim Dashti-zadeh, chief editor of magazine Film u Cinema, shot to death.
10. Ismail Raeen, was attacked by the vigilant Hizbollah and was killed on site.
11. Ali Dashti, journalist, captivated and tortured in his 80s in Evin prison, died due to broken bones and joints after being released.
12. Dr. Mozaffar Bagheri, chief editor of the newspaper Shahed, died in prison due to excessive torture.
13. Taghi Roohani, chief editor of News Radio Section, was attacked by vigilant Hizbollah and died right away.
Also hundreds of other journalists and writers were displaced and fled the country following the period of repression and fear starting in 1980s.
Following this period, the distribution of newspapers Bamdad whose chief editor was Mansur Rahbar, and Enghelab Eslami were banned and their staff were detained. Following the destructive Iran-Iraq war, publishers and publications became the propaganda centres of aggressive rulers and led to the disappearnce of independent political publications. The magazine Adineh, Gardoon, Donyayeh Sokhan, and the scientific journal of Farad, were closed and their staff were incarcerated and sentensed to imprisonment following the raid on their office by vigilant groups.
On Tuesday, 16 of June 1997, the office of the magazine Zane Rooz was raided and set on fire by the Ansare Hezbollah. The reason for the attack was the publication of a model photo that resembled Khomeini. Aside from these, publications such as Khorasan published in Mashhad, Khabar Shiraz, Kadeh and Nasim Shomal in Rasht were also banned, accused of publishing decietful materials against the regime’s sacreds.
Enemosity towards publishers from 1997 onward
The devestating defeat of the ruling conservative camp of the regime in the 1997 presidential election resulted in the emergence of better conditions for publishing newspapers and independent and pro-reform publications. Despite the existance of repression and aggression between 1997 and the year 2000, many new newspapers were born that played a significant role in the expansion of the process of reform movements among the general Iranian population.
The regime’s monopolistic ruling camp that blamed the growing number of publications on the defeat in the presidential, municipal, and parliamentary elections, set the path for the legal repression of the publications in the last day of the 5th Parliament by amending the press law. From May 2000 onwards, the mass closure of independent newspapers and publishers supporting reform, and the detainment of journalists started in an unprecedented way. Here, we briefly outline number of publishers that have been closed and their editorial boards detained and imprisoned.
Under the order of the General Court of the province of Tehran, on the 24th of April 2000, the newspapers:
1. Gozaresh, publisher, Mohammad Mehdi Khorami,
2. Bamdad No, publisher, Abo-Alghasem Golbaf,
3. Aftabe Emrooz, publisher, Faraydoon Amoozadi Khalili,
4. Payam Emrooz, publisher, Dawood Bahrami Siavashani,
5. Fatih, publisher, Yadollah Eslami,
6. Arya, publisher, Mohammad Reza Zohdi (The publication of this newspaper was banned until May 2001, but its publisher has been prevented from publishing activities so far).
7. Asre Azadzgan, publisher Gafoor Gershasbi, and chief editor Mashala Shams-alwaezin,
8. Azad, publisher, Yazdanpana Khodaee,
9. Ham-Mayhan publisher, Golam-Hosien Karbaschi,
Also weeklies Payame Hajar editor A-azam Talaghani, Aaban editor Mohammad Hassan Alipour, and Arzesh published by Ali Tatari, were closed.
4 days later, on the 28th of April, the newspapers:
Akhbare Eghtesad, publisher Eissa Saharkhizi,
Mosharekat, publisher Mohammad Reza Khatami,
Sobhe Emrooz, publisher Saeed Hajarian,
Awa, publisher Mostafa Izady, and also monthly Iran Farda publsiher Ezato-alah Sahabi, chief editor Reza Alijani that was the mouth-piece of Nehzate Azadi party were closed. These publishers were as usual accused of publishing lies, and insulting the regime’s sacreds and etc…
During these four years, nearly all of the independent and pro-reform newspapers and publishers that number more than 50 have been closed, and their publishers have been imprisoned. Individuals such as Ezatollah Sahabi, Ali Afshari, Abdullah Noori, Emadadin Baghi, Mashallah Shams-Alwaezin, Akbar Ganji, Mohammad Reza Zohdi, Latif Safiri, Reza Alijani, and among the list are dozens of other members of press family.
Iran under the control of the anti-freedom regime of Islamic Republic has become the largest prison for faithful journalists and writers. In the last several years, the regime on numerous occasions has been condemned by international organizations due to the oppression that has been mounted on intellectuals and writers. It is not a coincedence that Khamanei, the regime’s supreme leader, this year, on the the day of world press freedom was known to the world as the most oppressive enemy of the press by the International Group for the Defense of Human Rights.
Article translated from KURDISTAN, Organ of the Central Committee of PDKI
- Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI)
- 08/06/2001 00:00:00