Iran’s judiciary banned a newspaper for publishing a graphic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei’s hand drawing the line of poverty. According to the state-run YJC website, the judiciary banned the Kelid newspaper’s permit yesterday. The picture printed on its first page showed a graphic resembling Khamenei’s hand drawing a red line (the line of poverty) and the people under it, and a carton of foodstuff above it, with the title “Millions of Iranian families are under the line of poverty”.
The Kelid newspaper was formed in April 2015 by Attaollah Hakimipour as the Manager and Mansour Bitaraf as the Chief Editor.
Other reports said the graphic picture was first published by the Kayhan London website.
In the past week, a household’s basket of goods has reached 11.479 million tomans (about $409) which is the minimum expense a family will need to survive. In March, Iran’s Minister of Labor said a worker gets 2.55 million tomans a month (if paid), enough for only 6 days of living costs. Public school teachers make around 3 million tomans a month. Pensioners in Iran get under 3 million tomans a month.
This is not an isolated case of suppression of freedom of speech.
On November 3, an Iranian journalist in Khuzestan, southwestern Iran, tweeted that the Ministry of Oil filed a complaint against her to the Tehran Court of Culture and Media after she exposed the Ministry’s “illegal recruitments”. State-run websites wrote on November 7 that the Ministry of Oil retracted their complaint.
On November 6, the state-run Asriran website wrote that an environmental journalist, Ehsan Parsa, was detained in Lorestan, western Iran, for publishing a video. The news of his arrest was posted on social media by the journalist’s wife.
According to the report, the video showed Mehrdad Fathi Biranvand, the Director-General of the Environment riding on the back of an employee so his feet do not get wet. Biranvand claimed the video was from six years ago, and that he had feet problems and had asked for help. He also claimed to have retracted his complaint.
According to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Iran is included in the list of press freedom’s 20 worst digital predators in 2020, which include companies and government agencies that use digital technology to spy on and harass journalists and thereby jeopardize freedom of access to news and information.
Iran is also ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.