RSF launches new Iran Media Help Desk to support journalists and media at risk
In response to the rapid deterioration of press freedom since the start of the nationwide protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini on 16 September, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched a new Iran Media Help Desk, in collaboration with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Shirin Ebadi. Immediate emphasis will be placed on providing digital security support to journalists and media facing risks for reporting on events in the country.
“Iranian journalists are courageously reporting on developments in an increasingly hostile and complex environment, despite the great risks to themselves. RSF is seeking to help circumvent those risks by providing journalists and media with the tools and support needed to do their jobs as safely as possible. Their ability to continue reporting is crucial to informing the Iranian and international public, and we hope this support helps offer them some protection and minimises disruption to their work.
With full Farsi-language capacity, RSF’s Iran Media Help Desk will provide digital security support to journalists at risk, including the rapid provision of VPNs, and will help media outlets circumvent censorship by creating mirror sites through RSF’s Collateral Freedom project. Through the Help Desk, RSF will provide emergency grants to Iranian media inside and outside of the country, and will develop further materials for publication on the Farsi-language version of its website.
Iranian journalists and media needing assistance can contact the Help Desk securely via [email protected] or [email protected]. The Help Desk can provide a “one stop shop” for connection to other RSF departments to process requests related to other areas of need, such as the assistance desk or the legal team. RSF will develop a tailored digital security guide for Iran to be translated into Farsi and distributed among networks of Iranian journalists. RSF will also develop litigation activities for the benefit of Iranian journalists and newsrooms.
RSF is proud to launch this project in collaboration with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Shirin Ebadi, a former judge and founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, as well as a member of RSF’s emeritus board. The prominent human rights defender co-chaired the International Commission on Information and Democracy alongside RSF’s Secretary-General, Christophe Deloire.
“In this sensitive situation, Iranian journalists and their work in reporting what is going on in Iran is essential. They risk their lives to be the voice of the people, and some have been arrested or their whereabouts are unknown, such as the brave journalist Nilufar Hamedi, who took a photo of Mahsa Amini’s relatives in the hospital. Supporting journalists in Iran is supporting the voice of freedom.