(May 11) — Hard-line Iranian officials often speak with admiration about the “China model” of economic development and political control. Iran has clearly failed to equal China in terms of economic progress, but it has already exceeded its role model in one respect: jailing journalists.
Last weekend in Washington, several hundred Iranian-Americans and others gathered at George Washington University for a “night of solidarity” with Iran’s imprisoned scribes. Rudi Bakhtiar, a former journalist with CNN and Fox who is now a spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said Iran is now “No. 1 in the world when it comes to journalists in prison” having surpassed China.