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Media Freedom Group Condemns Harassment Of Iran Journalists

Mohammad Mosaed, Iranian journalist jailed for tweeting about protests.

In a statement on Friday, February 21, the international press freedom NGO, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), condemned the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) fearsome Intelligence Organization for summoning and threatening journalists in the clergy-dominated Iran.

Referring to seven Iranian journalists, including Mohammad Mosaed, RSF says that pressure on them has intensified in the past few days.

The IRGC had arrested Mosaed on December 25, 2019, for a tweet during the deadliest uprising against the Islamic Republic last November, when the authorities disconnected the Internet.

"Hello, free world! I used 42 different proxies to write this. Millions of Iranians don't have Internet [connection]. Can you hear us?" Mosaed tweeted a few hours after the Ministry of Interior disconnected the Internet on November 16.

Mosaed had also revealed the name of "journalists" who had agreed to use the government-provided Internet without mentioning to the ongoing protests.

While the Internet was disconnected, the Islamic Republic security forces backed by Special anti-riot Units, the IRGC members, and plainclothesmen brutally suppressed the protests.

Mosaed was later released on bail, while forced to stay away from social media.

RSF has deplored summoning and threatening independent journalists as an "illegal and roguish" move.

Such moves are intended to prevent Iranian journalists from disseminating information on social media, RSF asserts.

According to RSF, Iran has been one of the world's most repressive countries for journalists for the past 41 years.

"State control of news and information is unrelenting, and at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been imprisoned or executed since 1979 RSF has noted, adding, "The Islamic regime exercises extensive control over the media landscape and its harassment of independent journalists, citizen-journalists and independent media has not let up. They are constantly subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrest, and long jail sentences imposed by revolutionary courts at the end of unfair."