Khabarnegaran.info-Niki Azad: Local journalist Mahdieh Amiri speaks of the hardships of practicing journalism in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. Amiri has been working as a journalist in Bushehr for years. Since 2007, she has been the editor-in-chief of a few local websites, biweekly and quarterly magazines. She is now the editor-in-chief of hamooniran.com website and Ava-ye Dashtestan biweekly.
Siamak Ghaaderi , a relentless critic, in prison for his love of journalism2 August 2011
Translated by Azita Eraani
Khabarnegaran.info- He always said there are three things in life that he was passionate about: “News, Journalism and Studying”. And it was his passion that finally drove this journalist to prison.
Siamak Ghaderi, the 43 year-old blogger and journalist has been locked up in prison since July of 2010 without a single day of furlough.
He is now spending his days at ward 350 of Evin prison, along with several of his colleagues. Siamak Ghaderi is a journalist best known as a government critic. As a senior reporter of IRNA [Islamic Republic News Agency], Siamak had not only been constantly challenging the management policies of this news agency, on his weblog entitled “Our IRNA”, but also extended his criticisms to the government policies, and continued to analyze the strategies of the leaders of the Green Movement, after the 2009 presidential elections. Criticisms that ultimately led to his dismissal from IRNA despite 18 years of work, and ending up with a 4-year prison sentence, as well as a monetary fine and 60 lashes.
In one of his blog entries, Siamak writes: “In our country, there are many different molds for reporters to grow in; ranging from being a spokesperson for the people; a mouthpiece for power mongers; a paper-pusher; to many other positions. But a main characteristic of a reporter’s job – all too often missed by many - is his position as a ‘witness’. Reporters are “Witnesses” of events that take place behind the scenes, which is a highly unique privilege of this job that completely escapes the notice of historians.”
Siamak Ghaderi - journalist imprisoned in Iran for filming the 2009 street protests
Charged with “Propagating against the state”, “Agitating the public” and “Distributing fabricated information”, Siamak Ghaaderi spent months in the maximum security ward 209, much of which in solitary confinement and countless hours under interrogation. He had also
Khabarnegaran.info-Niki Azad: How is life for Iranian journalists after prison? Does their attitude toward their journalism – the profession that put them in jail – change? Are they more conservative than before? Or bolder?
Khabarnegaran – Niki Azad: He has been put in jail three times for his journalist writing, though he says that jail has not made him feel disappointed with the profession of journalism.