The Iranian regime continues to attempt to repress freedom of expression through a variety of methods. These are focused on limiting the ability of individuals to spread any doubts they may have about the regime or to advocate for regime change. However, despite these attempts, the social unrest within Iran is not being abated.
Recently, a number of credible and well-known companies in Iran, who provided money to Farsi satellite channels via purchasing advertisements, were closed down. The idea seems to be that punishing companies for providing any type of financial support to these channels will drive the channels out of business as their financial support dwindles.
According to one source, “These companies paid large sums of money to buy Turkish TV series to advertise their products and were shut down on orders of judicial officials. They have been summoned to court to answer questions about their charges.”
These channels are seen as being against the Republic of Iran, and as such, they are being targeted by the regime. Any perceived threat to their power must be oppressed out of existence.
There is even a special security force devoted to the tracking and identifying of what have been deemed “suspicious channels and groups”, as well as various websites, news groups, and social media websites. All of them have been asked to commit to following the law, although what can be considered inappropriate is totally based on the will of the mullahs and their various security forces, making it extremely arbitrary.
This means that the freedom of the press to call out the government, providing a natural checks and balance, does not exist in Iran under the current regime. In fact, publishing what could be viewed as anti-regime sentiments could land you in court. Once such case is the Bulletin News Website.
According to a spokesperson of the Media Court Jury, the court saw to the case of the Bulletin News Website on charges of publishing lies to disturb public opinion and was found guilty unanimously by the jury. Other trials include judges that impose large penalties on these organizations, stifling any critical assessments of the performance of the regime in the wake of the economic issues throughout the country.
Another recent case involves the Intelligence Ministry and Telegram channels. One of the plans seems to be blocking channels with anti-religious content, often referring admins to the Judiciary for a variety of charges.
These few examples illustrate that the regime has not changed its tactics, but continues to oppress the freedoms of expression, both political and artistic. Yet, there is also plenty of social unrest as a result. If the goal of the regime is to suppress the opposition to their rule, their repressive tactics have only added fuel to the fire.