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Free SpeechPost of the Week

Iran: No News is Bad News, Crackdown on Journalists

In the wake of a crackdown on journalists in Iran combined with the harassment of their family and friends, no news is bad news. The Ministry of Intelligence promises there won’t be an end to the arrests until the entire network is revealed, claiming that those arrested are being arrested for collaborating with foreign forces rather than working as journalists. Exiled journalist Masih Alinejad bitterly jokes of babies begging their mothers not to give birth so that they can avoid detention. Saghi Laghaie warns people to not share any details about those arrested that could be used against them. “Avoid writing about your shared memories or dialogues as they might be used against them…”

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Letter from Maleki: Doubt Not, Tomorrow is Your Turn

Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former chancellor of the University of Tehran, is a long-time dissident. As the first post-revolution chancellor of the University of Tehran, he attempted to institute direct democratic management of the institution. Among other subjects, this letter refers to the destruction of that experiment, and his own imprisonment. While …

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Exclusive Interview with Payam Akhavan on the Iran Tribunal Investigating Iran’s “Bloody Decade”

Exclusive Interview with Payam Akhavan on the Iran Tribunal  Arseh Sevom — An international legal fact finding team led by Professor Payam Akhavan heard testimony regarding the mass executions that took place during the 1980s in Iran. According to the Iran Tribunal website, it took four years of persistent efforts …

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Breaking and Bending Censorship with Walid Al-Saqaf

Arseh Sevom — Reports from the Islamic Republic of Iran about internet speeds, work to create a parallel cyber Iran, and the growing success of filtering systems paint a picture of desperate efforts to exert control over the population. Iran is not alone in its efforts. North Korea has their own “intranet” called Kwang Myong (“light” or “hope, fair, just, open”). The North Korean version duplicates external content it deems acceptable. Iran’s new closed intranet is expected to do the same, in a cyber version of what the state already does in traditional media by cherry-picking content from international sources and editing or translating it in ways that often distort the original meaning.

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