10 Most Censored Countries - Iran
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||2 May 2012|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, 10 Most Censored Countries - Iran, 2 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/502cb01728.html [accessed 20 October 2014]|
Leadership: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been supreme leader since 1989. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first won the presidency in 2005.
How Censorship Works: The government uses mass imprisonment of journalists as a means of silencing dissent and quashing critical news coverage. Since 2009, a once-robust reformist media has been battered by a government onslaught that has included the banning of publications and the mass arrests and imprisonments of journalists on antistate charges. Imprisoned journalists are subject to horrible conditions including solitary confinement, physical abuse, and torture; families of journalists are also intimidated and harassed in a bid to keep them silent. Iranian authorities maintain one of the world's toughest Internet censorship regimes, blocking millions of websites, including news and social networking sites; using sophisticated techniques to detect interference with anti-censorship programs; and intimidating reporters via social networks. The regime also frequently jams satellite signals, particularly that of the BBC Persian-language service.
Lowlight: The regime has particularly targeted the BBC, especially since the 2009 disputed presidential elections, when the BBC Persian-language service extensively covered protesters describing abuse by security forces. Relatives and friends of BBC staff members have been arrested, questioned, or intimidated. Tehran has jammed BBC satellite signals, and the broadcaster reported a "sophisticated cyber-attack" on its email and Internet services that coincided with efforts to jam its satellite feeds into Iran.