President Rouhani to the Press: We Promote Free Speech and Culture
President Hassan Rouhani defended his administration’s policies and responded to criticisms about the recent crackdown on free expression in Iran during a press conference on April 10.
Rouhani answered questions about the recent crackdown on free speech, including the arrest in March of as many as 12 administrators for channels on the Telegram messaging service. Journalists Morad Saghafi and Hengameh Shahidi were also arrested in March, and Ehsan Mazandarani, one of the media workers accused of being part of an “infiltration network,” was re-arrested after only weeks of freedom.
Iran State Media “Lawless”
On Sunday, April 9, outspoken Tehran politician Ali Motahari accused Iran’s state broadcaster, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), of being lawless. Speaking to parliament during a public meeting about a new bill that would change the way the IRIB was supervised, Motahari called for an immediate overhaul of the laws governing the broadcaster (see Iranian Labor News Agency report in Persian). He said the laws had not been reformed since 1989.