Tips on avoiding censorship and other legal battles
30 Dec 2011
Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh, a Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance deputy, along with 5 other officials, discussed the challenges the media face in a roundtable meeting on national television. While the deputy minister was critical of the authorities for enforcing severe censorship on the media (a ray of hope for a second), his only solution to the problem was to demand journalists to be as apolitical as possible to avoid censorship. He also added that if a paper really intends to be political, they can do so very briefly in the ‘editor’s note’. The world of journalism is, of course, forever indebted to him for these top tips!
Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance filed complaint against two publishers, accusing them of ‘disseminating lies’. The so-called lies they have disseminated appeared in the form of an article, saying that over the past year, 100 bookstores have been forced to close down across the country. Along the same line, staff of a number of bookstores met in a cafe in the area of Karimkhan in Tehran to come up with solutions to challenge the obligatory close-downs. It seems that they, too, had a meeting based on lies.
Another legal battle is now taking place between the ‘House of Cinema’ (Khaneh Sinama) and ‘Council of Public Culture’. While the Council has issued a verdict, condemning the House of Cinema’s establishment and projects as illegitimate, the House of Cinema, in return, claims that the Council does not have the authority to issue any verdict at all.
To end on a positive note, activist Behrouz Javid Tehrani was finally released from prison after 11 years. Behrouz was first arrested in the student protests of July 1999, and been in prison continuously since 2005.
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