Press Freedoms Remain Elusive Under Iranian Regime

(New York, N.Y.) —This World Press Freedom Day should remind people and nations worldwide of the Iranian regime’s decades-long assault on press freedom. In Iran, journalists routinely face censorship, harassment, intimidation, surveillance, imprisonment, and death. Jailed journalists are often subjected to torture and other human-rights violations, including extended solitary confinement and denial of family visits, health care, and legal counsel. 

The Iranian regime’s fear of public knowledge of—and resistance to—its systemic malfeasance, mismanagement, and repression has led to Iran being labeled as one of the world’s most ardent opponents of press freedom. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Iran is the seventh-most censored country in the world. For the past three years, Iran has continued to fall further down the ranks of Reporters Without Borders’ World Freedom Index, currently standing at 174 out of 180 countries—down from 170 in 2019. 

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource Iran’s War on Journalism and Journalists details the outrageous extent to which Tehran restricts journalists. In April 2022, the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices reported that the regime “harassed, detained, abused, and prosecuted publishers, editors, and journalists, including those involved in internet-based media, for their reporting on issues considered sensitive by the government” and cited third-party data that at least 99 journalists or citizen-journalists were imprisoned as of November. 

Tehran also prevents the dissemination of journalism. Satellite-television signals are jammed and access to social media platforms used by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are blocked for the Iranian people. 

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Without significant reformation, Iran will continue its pattern of obstructing the rights of journalists—and in turn, all Iranians. 

To read UANI’s resource, Iran’s War on the Journalism and Journalists, please click here