Reporters Without Borders issued a statement on April 26th describing Iran as one of the world’s five major prisons for media activists and placed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the list of enemies of press freedom.
“… Iran imprisons journalists arbitrarily by the dozens on the pretext of combatting ‘obscenity’ or threats to national security. Prison conditions are so bad that many of them go on hunger strike in protest. The Iranian regime imposes inhuman and medieval punishments such as flogging,” the report reads in part.
Iran continues to carry out inhumane and medieval punishments, such as lashings, the report added. In 2016 at least four journalists were sentenced to lashings by the judiciary.
“…Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, hold distinguished positions in the ranks of RSF’s press freedom predators,” the report continued.
Iran is ranked by RWB as 165th amongst 180 countries on the press freedom index. Prior to this RWB issued another statement marking Iran’s 1979 anniversary in February, saying with 30 journalists and citizen reporters behind bars, Iran is considered one of the five major prisons for media activists.
The apprehension and execution of a number of journalists in the first decade following the 1979 revolution, “official executions” in the dark days and eliminating intellectuals and journalists, parallel to abductions and street executions, were amongst the first methods used by the Islamic Republic for domestic crackdown and setting aside journalists RWB has referred to.
Furthermore, Freedom House in its latest annual report on April 28th described Iran as one of the 10 non-free countries in regards to press freedoms.