More than 100 journalists and bloggers have been imprisoned in Iran since the disputed election last June, making it the world’s leading enemy of free expression. At least 65 remain in jail – more than any single country has imprisoned since 1996.
Two of those imprisoned, Mehrdad Rahimi and Kohyar Goodarzi, have been labelled “mohareb” (enemies of God) – a heresy charge punishable by death under the Iranian law. One other journalist is on death row.
Recently, the world’s leading international journalists’ and other human rights organisations announced a mega-campaign for the release of Iran’s imprisoned journalists, running through Norooz, the Iranian new year, with events aimed at building pressure on the regime. The campaign is called Our Society Will Be a Free Society, a reference to Ayatollah Khomeini’s 30-year-old pledge that Iran would have freedom of expression.