One of the most oppressive countries
Iran is still one of the world’s most repressive countries for journalists, subjecting news and information to relentless control. At least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned and in some cases executed since the 1979 revolution. The Islamic Republic shows no signs of relaxing its harassment of independent journalists and media outlets, or loosening its tight grip on the media landscape as a whole. Iran’s journalists are still constantly subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrest and long jail sentences imposed by revolutionary courts at the end of unfair trials. The authorities also wage their fight against the freedom to inform beyond the country’s borders, putting a great deal of pressure on Iranian journalists working for international media outlets. And they continue to harass the relatives of imprisoned journalists by threatening them and even arresting them and sentencing them to long prison sentences. The government has no qualms about disconnecting the Internet for long periods in order to deprive the public of alternative sources of news, now that citizen-journalists on social media are at the centre of the battle for freely-reported news and information. But alternative online reporters also struggle to keep the population informed as the regime continues to make every effort to conceal reality, including the scale of disasters. This was the case with the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, when the Islamic Republic was one of the world’s most draconian censors of coverage of the pandemic and at the same time a leading protagonist of what the United Nations called the disinformation “infodemic”.
173 in 2020
64.81 in 2020