UN urges Iran to release journalists, human rights activists
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UN urges Iran to release journalists, human rights activists

New York City : NY : USA | Oct 02, 2012 at 1:52 PM PDT
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Assad continues protest clampdown

Iran is a country where clampdown on journalists, human rights activists and social workers is a routine thing. The conservative regime has never spared critical voices against it and the recent clampdown appears to be part of a calculated campaign before the upcoming presidential election. Independent journalists and human rights activists are being terrified and slammed in jails on fabricated charges. The inhumane treatment to people in the name of security should perturb international community and the Islamic republic should be asked to mend its ways. Otherwise, the world powers should move against it.

Two prominent journalists, including Ali Akbar Javanfekr, press advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and chief of the state-run IRNA news agency, and Reuters Bureau Chief Parisa Hafezi, were arrested recently on fabricated charges. Ali Akbar has been jailed for six months for allegedly insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while Parisa Hafezi was charged with spreading lies and propaganda against the regime. It may be pertinent to mention here that there is no free press in the Islamic republic and journalists cannot speak their minds out. All media outlets are state-owned and their jobs are just to promote and propagate good deeds of the rulers.

A number of other human rights activists have also been arrested. Iran is a conservative state, where the regime does not tolerate any news against it, even against a low-ranking government functionary. The practice is against the basic human rights. It may be interesting to mention here that people are fined for having dish antennas in their houses.

Tens of thousands of people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other Arab countries took to the streets last year to get rid of their brutal rulers just because they were not ready to grant freedom of expression and freedom of choice to their people. The pro-democracy people of Iran can also take to the streets in the next couple of months if the regime continues to keep them under the scrutiny of the state.

After President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected to his office in 2009, tens of thousands of people turned out on the streets to protest the alleged rigging in polls. The protests were quelled by force. Intelligence and security agencies of the Islamic republic are still active to keep a vigil on journalists, social workers and human rights activists. In fact, there is a network of spying agencies in the whole country, and according to human rights activists, there are thousands of people missing in the country. These missing people were allegedly picked up by the security agencies in the name of national security.

StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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