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Iran's Newspapers Silent on Mass Arrest of Journalists

By Mana Neyestani, renowned Iranian cartoonist. Source: Radiozamaneh

The world's leading jailer of journalists has struck again. At least 12 Iranian journalists were arrested by agents of the regime's over the weekend. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published a statement about the mass arrest of journalists, on Monday, January 28, 2013. According to RSF, in a renewed crackdown on news media in the Tehran, plain-clothes intelligence ministry officials yesterday searched the headquarters of four daily newspapers – Etemad, Arman, Shargh and Bahar – and the weekly Asemanand, without any explanation, arrested at least 10 journalists.

Many consider, as The Guardian writes, that “the arrests signal a major escalation in a press crackdown that reflects Iran's zero tolerance for those who work with dissident media or outlets considered hostile to the regime.”

Several Iranian netizens and journalists shared a collage of photos of the jailed journalists, showing their solidarity and urging for them to be freed:


Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist, writes in her blog [fa] that we can consider the recent mass arrest as a “early election coup” to intimidate Iranian journalists. The presidential election will be held in June 2013.

She writes:

… there is no news about arrested journalists and attacks on their homes in their own newspapers… Journalists are the easiest targets [in Persian 'shortest walls'] for rulers who are afraid of their own unfree elections….it seems that in Iran, before any event, journalists get arrested.

Several netizens tweeted about the story and shared links to different media and organizations.

Laleh tweeted:

Dominque Rodier tweeted

Persian Banoo tweeted:


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