Freedom of the Press? Not Under Rouhani.


Imagine a group of people. They look just like you. They have families, lives, interests, hobbies, everything you know from your own life. The only thing that is different in their lives than those of yours is the job they chose to do: They elected to be journalists in the Islamic Republic of Iran. So now they’re in jail, and no one knows when they will be set free again.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that. Upon his election, Hassan Rouhani was perceived as being a great hope in that aspect. In fact, as early as his first speech in office, Rouhani said “The government that takes its legitimacy from its people does not fear the free media; we will seek help from their constructive criticism.”

Well, apparently that’s over with; Washington post’s Tehran’s correspondent Jason Rezaian (along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi), has been arrested in July. Since then, there have been numerous calls for his release, but the president has remained silent, and has done nothing to aid in that cause, nor has his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Rezaian’s story is a sign of the perils of trying to become a reporter in today’s Iran: “The two have been held for more than eight weeks without explanation or charges. They have not been permitted to meet with their lawyer”, says Douglas Jehl, the Washington post’s foreign editor.

Rezaian is the face of an alarmingly growing epidemic in Iran, reports the committee to protect journalists, in an article that states that journalists have been arrested by the dozen in the country.

This raises the question about the connections between the Iranian president and those kidnaps, but Mr. Zarif’s recent admission, about not even knowing all of the charges that Rezaian was tagged with, brings to mind the question of control in Iran – and it seems that no one in the government really knows what’s going on inside those Journalists’ prisons cell.


7 thoughts on “Freedom of the Press? Not Under Rouhani.

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I would like to assist in facilitating an immediate solution or resolution to this horrible injustice which appears to be something that not many people even aware of, either in Iran and surrounding countries, or in the US. What would you propose as a possible solution to this unjust imprisonment of these among many other journalists in Iran? If there is anything that you think I could do to help in any way please let me know and I will do it ASAP. This is criminal and inhumane treatment. The “right to free speech” and “the right to freedom of the press” are rights that make democracy much easier to keep in place and they are rights that have, by many transitioning countries (as seen by this travesty of human justice) been trampled upon when there have been no legislation put into action to uphold the rights of human beings to fair and due process in the legal systems and to prevent a government from becoming an authoritarian society or in the case of Iran continue to exist as an authoritarian society. What actions need to take place in order to resolve this issue in an appropriate manner?

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