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RSF reports on press freedom one year after Ahmadinejad's re-election

(RSF/IFEX) - 8 June 2010 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected with 63 per cent of the vote on 12 June 2009. Everything was planned in advance except for a wave of demonstrations that was without precedent since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The streets of the main cities were filled with people chanting "What happened to my vote?" and "Liar."

The authorities responded with a vast operation to silence the political protests, using a skilfully devised repressive strategy, the stages of which Reporters Without Borders will now try to describe.

By disrupting the means of communication and relentlessly controlling the dissemination of photos and video footage, the authorities sought to undermine the demonstrations and prevent the opposition from reinforcing its cohesion and popular legitimacy.

The Revolutionary Guards ensured that opposition leaders were denied access to the media by closing newspapers and arresting journalists. Cut off from any international support once the foreign correspondents had been expelled, the opposition then had to face a war of attrition by the regime.

Imprisoned, tortured, charged vast bail amounts that drove families deep into debt, subjected to social and professional exclusion and hounded into exile – en entire profession of journalists, political observers and social activists that had developed in recent years, an essential part of the country's intellectual life, has been eradicated by the regime.

Figures

- At least 170 journalists and bloggers, including 32 women, have been arrested in the past year.
- 22 of them have been sentenced to jail terms totalling 135 years.
- 85 journalists are awaiting trial or sentencing.
- The amounts of bail that have been paid to obtain release total about 100 million euros (5.23 billion toman).
- More than 100 journalists have been forced to flee the country.
- 23 newspapers have been shut down and thousands of web pages have been blocked.
- With 37 journalists and bloggers currently held, Iran is one of the world's four biggest prisons for the media, alongside Cuba, Eritrea and North Korea.

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Read the full report
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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