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.
What did Iranian journalists say about “journalist day”12 September 2014
Translated by: Hanaa Jam
Khabarnegaran.info- Sougand Serafat :Iran’s maybe one of the few countries which has a day named after journalists and at the same time, one of the few ones which have the most journalists in prison. This paradox might be the reason why most of Iranian journalists don’t feel content with this day and don’t participate in its celebration.
This year, even a number of journalists signed a statement and criticized the celebration, they said they won’t participate in any “journalist day” celebration until journalists are facing restriction and Association of Iranian Journalists is banned to work: ”we, Iranian reporters and journalists declare that we will not participate in any show called “Journalist Day” when our co-worker are in prison for doing what we are meant to do, until the day that some of us has to work in silence and isolation or became voice of some specific parties due to their money issues, until the day that our associations such as “Association of Iranian Journalists” can’t work, and until the day that the main motto of Republic of Iran and the main right of constitutional law which is freedom of speech is ignored, we will not participate in any show, so called “journalist day” so if we can’t have arising voice, could be a whisper for a hearing ear.”
some of journalists also shared their views and emotion toward this day on papers and social networks:
During this time, Farvartish Rezvaieh wrote on his page: “reading a congratulation note on “journalist day” means nothing to me, the day that 10 men surrounded me to take my camera away and I shouted “ I’m a journalist, I saw people pass by with no concern and being a “journalist “ meant nothing to them. The way people look at our job as journalists have never been in favor of its activists. Some people think only the journalists who left Iran has a good judgment and are trustworthy and those who work in interior media are liars, unjust, frauds and sold themselves to some specific parties and they deserve to be cursed at until they disappear. Picture of a journalist who lives in Iran and have just in his/her job is away from minds, because they think a journalist is only trust worthy when s/he has a detention or jail experience or a Persian media over the seas talks about him/her.”
Safieah Qare Baqi also wrote about a celebration in honor of journalist day which was held in Zanjan: ”a celebration called “journalist day” which is held by Zanjan’s press house is something meaningless when there’s no mention of “Alireza Eskandarion” veteran journalist of zanjan in it. Alireza Eskandariun gave an speech in journalist day on 2010 and presented his gift to Atiah Taheri, wife of Saeed matinpoor another Zanjanian fellow who was in jail at that time.
Ali Asghar Ramezanpour who used to write and then became Editor in chief in many Iranian papers wrote: ” I had a bad feeling about this bittering journalist day from the beginning. But it doesn’t have anything to do with Mahmood Saremi the journalist who was killed while he was doing his job. I knew Mahmood in person and I well remember those sad days when he died in a terroristic incident. Remembering Mahmood or any other journalist is fine but I also remember that using his death to name a day as a national day for journalists is just a state propaganda. In a way that they don’t care about an independent journalist.”
In a celebration held in Milad Tower in honor of journalist day , there were few journalists , ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) wrote : day to tribute memory of Mahmood Saremi , martyr journalist and journalist day was held by non-government journalist association while states officials and its journalist didn’t participate much..
Maybe this celebration was distant just the way most of journalists were expecting it because most of them had declared that they won’t appear in the ceremony days before.
P.S. Mahmood Saremi , Iranian journalist and head of Islamic Republic News Agency in Mazar Sharif , Afghanistan was killed by Taliban along 8 diplomat in Saturday ,august 8,1998. Until that day , his anniversary is named journalist day.
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.