Against Gaza backdrop, government closes newspaper and sends supporters to intimidate Nobel peace laureate

first_imgNews Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election IranMiddle East – North Africa to go further News June 9, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News Follow the news on Iran January 2, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Against Gaza backdrop, government closes newspaper and sends supporters to intimidate Nobel peace laureate IranMiddle East – North Africa center_img March 18, 2021 Find out more Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information June 11, 2021 Find out more The Iranian government has taken advantage of Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip to crack down harder on its critics, closing an opposition newspaper and dispatching its supporters to step up a campaign of intimidation against human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi.“Any pretext will do for the Iranian government to silence news media and dissidents,” Reporters Without Borders said. “As usual, it has exploited the international situation to settle scores with what remains of the non-governmental media and with human rights activists. The closure of the daily Kargozaraan and the attack on the office and home of Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi are classic examples.”The Commission for the Authorisation and Surveillance of the Press ordered Kargozaraan’s suspension on 31 December under articles 5 and 6 of the press law for “inciting individuals and groups to act against the security, respect and interest of the Islamic Republic” and for “defending Israel’s actions in Gaza and its crimes against the Muslim population.”The mouthpiece of a political movement of the same name that supports former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsandjani, Kargozaraan published a report on 30 December (the first anniversary of its launch) quoting a press release about Gaza by a student association condemning the violence “on both sides and the use of civilians as hostages.”Thirty newspapers were suspended in Iran in 2008, 22 of them by the Commission for the Authorisation and Surveillance of the Press, an offshoot of the Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance that has responsibility for censorship. The ministry is the Ahamadinejad government’s right hand in its campaign against independent media.Militiamen organised by the Revolutionary Guards have been demonstrating for several days against the Israeli offensive. Yesterday, about 100 of them demonstrated outside Ebadi’s home, shouting slogans critical of her and her Human Rights Defenders Centre, which the police closed down on 21 December on the grounds that it did not have interior ministry permission. Yesterday’s demonstration came three days after police raided Ebadi’s law office. The threats to Ebadi’s activities and to her family have been condemned by the European Union, United States, Canada and other leading western governments. Organisation RSF_en last_img

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