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Press Release of International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights.

Geneva – During the recent meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Garib Abadi of Iran's ruling regime, in response to United Nation's criticism of Iran's Human Rights violations, stated that the actions of the Iran's judiciary are based on 'religion and custom' of the country, and are not based on Western secular-liberal principles and therefore any criticism based on Western principles is irrelevant.

Editor of State-Funded News Agency Remains Detained Without Access to Due Process

tahere-riyahi-1 - Detained since December 2016, Tahereh Riahi, the social affairs editor of the state-funded Borna News Agency, remains isolated in Evin Prison in Tehran while being denied access to legal counsel.

Trafalgar Square screening of The Salesman film is 'right response' to US travel ban

Trafalgar Square screening of The Salesman film is 'right response' to US travel banAmnesty - Amnesty International has renewed its criticism of the US travel ban ahead of a special screening of an Oscar-nominated Iranian film in Trafalgar Square this weekend.

Editor Detained by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry Pleads for Help From Evin Prison - Tahereh Riahi, the social affairs editor of the state-funded Borna News Agency, who has been detained by the Intelligence Ministry since late December 2016 without access to legal council, pleaded for help in her latest phone call to her family from Evin Prison, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Protest Outside Tehran Prison In Support Of Hunger Striking Activist Arash Sadeghi

Protest Outside Tehran Prison In Support Of Hunger Striking Activist Arash SadeghiRFL/RE - Dozens of Iranians have taken part in a rare demonstration outside Tehran's Evin prison to express their support for a jailed activist on hunger strike, Arash Sadeghi.

Women’s Leadership in Iran: a Panel Discussion.

altRadiozamaneh - Mansoureh Shojaee a leading Iranian feminist author and activist, Masih Alinejad, journalist and writer and trouble maker for the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saghar Qyasi feminist researcher joined Naemeh Doustar, Zamaneh Media's women's section editor to talk about challenges to women's leadership in Iran.

Editor Says He Was Wrongly Sentenced to Prison for Posting MP’s Sexist Comments Online

Editor - Hamed Ataee, a news editor from northwestern Iran who has been sentenced to four months in prison for posting a rumor online, says he was actually convicted for posting a video of a member of Parliament (MP) disparaging the presence of women in politics.

Shirin Ebadi: Western governments maintain a dialogue with the real civil society in Iran

shirin-ebadi-spoke-on-the-10th-anniversary-zamaneh-mediaRadiozmaneh - Shirin Ebadi Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate delivered a speech congratulating Zamaneh Media on the occasion of its 10th year anniversary.

Iranian judiciary chief calls out Rouhani over press freedom

Iranian judiciary chief calls out Rouhani over press freedomAl-monitor - Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani's latest remarks on freedom of the press in Iran featured on almost every front page in the country Nov. 8, and heated the debate that emerged with the opening of the Press Exhibition in Tehran on Nov. 4.

Changiz M. Varzi

"Some pressure us by asking, 'Why don't you shut down that newspaper?' while others ask, 'Why have you banned that newspaper?'" Larijani said Nov. 7. "All I can say [in response] to these pressures is that we [the judiciary] pursue our path only by following the constitution and Islamic law."

In response to President Hassan Rouhani's speech at the opening ceremony of the 22nd Press and News Agencies Exhibition on Nov. 4, Larijani accused him of harboring double standards on freedom of the press.

"On several occasions you complained about why we didn't have [a judicial] approach to this newspaper or that website," Larijani stated without directly naming Rouhani. "But when you speak among journalists, you hail freedom of the press." In this vein, Rouhani's comments on freedom of the press, according to Larijani, are tantamount to "defamation of the judiciary" and an "insult."

Since taking office in August 2013, Rouhani has openly criticized the shutting down of newspapers and the pressure that has been applied on the media. Speaking at the Press Exhibition on Nov. 4, he said, "How can journalists provide security to society if they are worried about their own security?" Rouhani also suggested that violations of the press law be investigated by professional journalists, and not in court. He added, "We should not break pens and shut mouths with flimsy excuses."

In another related comment Nov. 8, government spokesman Mohammad-Bagher Nobakht stressed that "the government believes in freedom of speech and freedom of criticism," which have been underlined in the Iranian Constitution. He added, "However, the government voices its objection to those who receive protection and act against the law, accuse [the administration] and revile it."

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi also entered the debate. Visiting the Press Exhibition on Nov. 8, he weighed into the discourse over the role and status of journalism in the country. "No one can say that we don't have freedom of speech in this country," Pourmohammadi said. "No news remains unpublished and there is no one with untold thoughts. But we need to put everything in order."

According to Pourmohammadi, the recent contradictory remarks on freedom of the press in Iran are a sign of freedom and will bear fruit "if everyone follows the law."

Amid the heated discussion over freedom of press in Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency has published a series of short interviews with right-wing politicians on the topic.

In a Nov. 8 interview with Fars, Ahmad Salek, the head of the parliamentary cultural commission, echoed the judiciary chief's remarks, saying, "On the one hand the government defends freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but on the other hand it accuses its critics of being illiterate and quasi-revolutionary."

Salek also suggested that politicians avoid fanning political polarization in the country, saying, "A private meeting is the place where the president should resolve these disagreements."

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