Regime continues to close newspapers, impose jail sentences on journalists

first_img Reporters Without Borders condemns the closure of three newspapers in the past few days and the imposition of a jail sentence on another journalist in the government’s continuing crackdown on the media. The Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance, the censorship arm of the ministry of culture and Islamic orientation, has suspended the business daily Asia and withdrawn the licences of the weeklies Sepidar and Parastoo, while Badrolsadat Mofidi, the secretary-general of the Association of Iranian Journalists, has been sentenced to six years in prison.Asia’s suspension was announced on 17 August by Mohammed Ali Ramin, deputy minister of culture and Islamic orientation, who said it was for “publishing images contrary to public virtues.” The case has been sent to the justice ministry for judicial investigation. In reality, the newspaper has been closed for criticising the government’s economic policies and the heavy involvement of the Revolutionary Guards in the economy. It is its third suspension since its launch in 2002.Several of Asia’s journalists have been jailed since its creation. When it was suspended in July 2003 at the behest of then Tehran prosecutor general Sayeed Mortazavi for “anti-government publicity” after publishing a photo of Maryam Radjavi of the banned People’s Mujahideen, editor Iraj Jamshidi was arrested and held for several months. The Tehran supreme court sentenced publisher Saghi Baghernia to six months in prison in August 2006 for “anti-government propaganda.” One of Asia’s reporters, Ali-Reza Ahmadi was arrested in July 2003 and was not released until the following January, after paying 1 billion rials (100,000 euros) in bail.The licences of Sepidar and Parastoo were withdrawn on the same grounds – “publishing images contrary to public virtues.” The latest issues of Sepidar, which is owned by the Tehran University militia and supports radical militia members, had included articles criticising President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial vice-president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai. Sepidar also published a cartoon of a son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani who was allegedly involved in the payment of bribes by a Norwegian company. These two closures are the result of in-fighting within the regime.More than 20 newspapers have been suspended in Iran since President Ahmadinejad’s reelection in June 2009. Ramin, the deputy minister of culture and Islamic orientation, is keeping his promise to do everything possible to “liquidate” the press. The country has been purged of its journalists and newspapers on the grounds of preserving “public morality.”Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced Badrolsadat Mofidi to six years in prison followed by a five-year ban on working as a journalist. Arrested on 28 December 2009, she was held in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison until released on 7 June after paying 100 million tomans (75,000 euros) in bail.The heavy jail sentence imposed on Mofidi and the closure of the Association of Iranian Journalists for the past year are major blows for press freedom and journalists in Iran.President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, are on the Reporters Without Borders list of Predators of Press Freedom. RSF_en Receive email alerts News News Follow the news on Iran Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News IranMiddle East – North Africa Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 to go furthercenter_img August 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Regime continues to close newspapers, impose jail sentences on journalists June 9, 2021 Find out more News Organisation March 18, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information IranMiddle East – North Africa After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Kamala Harris, making history as VP pick, condemns Trump’s leadership ‘failure’

first_img“But he never did,” Obama said.As a result, Trump has left America’s “worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before,” Obama said.Trump responded by telling reporters that Obama had been “a terrible president.”Leave nothing to chance Former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who narrowly lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump, pleaded with voters to take nothing for granted in another tight contest.”This can’t be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election,” she said.Others on the night’s program included Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who unsuccessfully challenged Biden for the nomination, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has become a gun control advocate after being shot and severely wounded in a 2011 assassination attempt, also spoke, along with Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.Young activists addressed the dangers of climate change and Hispanic immigrants made highly emotional critiques of Trump’s policies that they said had torn apart their families.Much focus was on Obama, who remains a giant force in the Democratic establishment.Although he took a back seat during the Democratic primaries, he is now campaigning hard for Biden.”Tonight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of dark times and build it back better,” he said in his speech.Trump’s ‘storm center’ Obama spoke two days after his wife, Michelle Obama, opened the convention with a scathing takedown of Trump as “the wrong president for our country.””He cannot meet this moment,” she said.Tuesday’s lineup featured two other former presidents — 95-year-old Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, 74, who called the Trump White House “a storm center.”Biden, 77, the former Delaware senator who served as Obama’s vice president for eight years, was officially nominated on Tuesday.Harris, the California senator whom Biden picked to be his vice president, will speak live from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s hometown and campaign headquarters.The nomination is the latest in a lifetime of firsts for the 55-year-old daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother who were immigrants to the United States.Harris was the first black attorney general of California, the first woman to hold the post, and the first woman of South Asian heritage to be elected to the US Senate.The Republican Party is to hold its virtual convention next week and nominate Trump to serve four more years.Trump has chosen the White House South Lawn as the location for his acceptance speech — a controversial decision given that presidents are legally required to separate their campaigning from taxpayer-funded governing.Topics : “We’re at an inflection point.”Biden, who faces Trump on November 3, is due to give his own acceptance speech on Thursday, closing a Democratic convention held wholly online and on television due to coronavirus safety precautions.Shortly before Harris spoke, America’s first black president, Barack Obama, delivered his own condemnation of Trump — and appeal for Biden’s election.Obama said that on handing over the White House to Trump in 2017, he thought the Republican “might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.” Kamala Harris made history Wednesday when she accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president, while joining Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to condemn President Donald Trump’s profound “failure” as a leader.Harris, the first black woman on a major party’s White House ticket, accused Trump of turning “our tragedies into political weapons.” And she urged Americans to vote for Joe Biden, “a president who will bring all of us together.””Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods,” the former California prosecutor charged in her acceptance speech.last_img read more