Rudaw – Kurdish journalists from Iranian Kurdistan think journalism is like “walking in a minefield”. They have no hope of a free media under the shadow of the Iranian regime. Many Kurdish journalist get arrested and Kurdish newspapers are banned.
According to the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, Iran is one of the worst countries for journalism. Iran fell from last year's 166th place to 172 in the press freedoms index of RSF after many journalists were jailed. The task of journalism became more difficult after the reelection of Ahmadinejad. Some international organizations describe Iran as a “prison for journalists.”
According to information of Rudaw, more than 351 journalists were fired from their jobs, 25 daily and weekly newspapers were banned and more than 100 journalists were arrested. 61 newspaper editors and other senior staff of newspapers were questioned for investigations last year.
As a result Kurdish newspapers and publications are in a difficult situation. Now more than 10 Kurdish journalists are in prison and many Kurdish journalists fled from Iran since lest year. All independent Kurdish newspapers and publications have been banned by Iranian regime.
Some of the banned newspapers are Ashti, Rozhalat, Aso, Karaftoo, Hawar, Payami Kurdistan, Payam mardam, Rasan, Zhiwar, Nadai Jamiha, Nadai Danishjo, Khatun, Rozha nu, Zilan and more others.
After changing its staff, the Sirwan weekly newspaper is the only Kurdish newspaper which is still published in Iran. Zrebar was a monthly Kurdish social and cultural magazine in Iran, but it’s has been banned too. Dr. Salahaddin Khadiw, a Kurdish journalist stated that Kurdish journalism in Iran is in a difficult situation. “Kurdish journalism is facing a very bad situation in Iran. Not any independent publication is permitted” said Dr. Khadiw. “After Ahmadinejad came to power, he didn’t permit any of critical newspapers or publications”. Dr. Khadiw believes that the best period for journalism in Iran was under the Iranian reformists led by Khatami. During that period there were seven Kurdish weekly newspapers and many other Kurdish magazines. “There is no independent Kurdish newspaper in Iran now,” added Dr. Khadiw.
The 10 jailed journalists are“Adnan Hasanpoor, Hiwa Butimar, Muhammad Sadiq Kabudwand, Mukhtar Zarhi, Abas Jalilian, Ali Muhammad Islampoor and some others.
Although reformists tried their best to amend the Iranian journalism law, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran prevented this. “The Iranian journalism law is very primitive and doesn’t fit in with any principals of journalism,” concluded Dr. Khadiw.