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Is Guardian taking sides over Iranian political prisoners?


Open letter to Guardian Newspaper

Is Guardian taking sides over Iranian political prisoners?

Guardian published a letter on 8 August 2013 titled “Iran’s Political Prisoners plead with Obama to end crippling US sanctions“. Publishing a letter from Political prisoners in Iran is a right act to do as long as Guardian keeps a balanced view. This means Guardian should not differentiate between political prisoners in Iran and publishes letters from other political prisoners whom are not in the reformers camp as well. So far the articles written in Guardian on current affairs of Iran in Iran have taken a side with the so called reformers, has been their voice, has provided platform to the a fraction if the Islamic regime and has alienated millions of Iranians who are in opposition with the totality of and have continuously defied and said no to the Islamic regime.

As the spokesperson for the Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI) I am regularly in contact with political prisoners inside prison. I have received many letter from prisoners currently in prison requesting that international communities and medias echo their plea for help, voice their demands and draw an international attentions to their horrendous situation imposed by the Islamic regime. In the last two year I have forwarded all these letters to Guardian including several letters from Rajaee Shahr prison in regards to a deliberate deprivation of prisoners from medical attention. I have also forwarded letters from MohamadReza Pourshajari, a jailed blogger who is in the verge of losing his life because of being deprived of medical attention as well as letters from the families of political prisoners in regards to their children being tortured. Many of these prisoners are awaiting execution for merely expressing their viewpoints and exercising their freedom of expression. Sadly none of those letters has ever been published or being even mentioned in any articles by Guardian.

This raises the question that whether Guardian is taking sides even between the political prisoners, and provides platform only to the ones which are within the reformist’s camp of the Islamic regime? Even choosing a misleading title such as “Iran’s Political Prisoners plead with Obama to end crippling US sanctions” could be seen as an attempt from Guardian and specifically its Iran’s section to silence the voice of thousands of political prisoners who believe Rohani is a part of the Islamic regime and will not make any difference in the status of human rights in Iran. Is Guardian discriminating between political prisoners in Iran and provides platform only to some and not to the others?

Shiva Mahbobi


Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI)




One thought on “Is Guardian taking sides over Iranian political prisoners?

  1. I concurrent with the writer , Shiva Mahbobi. Obviously the head line is misleading . The tittle of prisoners in submitted letter to Obama shows they were high ranking authorities of Islamic Republic of Iran, once they were part of ruling theocratic government , however they are as guilty as Ahmadi Nejad ‘s administration. In their term they had many opportunities to make correction or if they were unable to make a difference, they could have resigned. Without exception they are followers and backers of Islamic Republic and Islamic Sharia law. The Guardian should have asked where are the rest of political prisoners? How is it that bloggers, lawyers, political and religious minorities are not part of this list? How could some one travel to various prisons, in various parts of country , and obtain their signatures, translate and forward it to various media and Obama’s administration? A few of these people are in solitary confinements and may not have visitor privileges. And more importantly why aren’t they blaming Khamenei and the Islamic Regime for this crippling sanction? Khamenei can change the course of entire sanction by opening the doors to IAEA if they are honest to their claims that their nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes. There are some rumours that these prisoners ( Islamic Republic repeatedly claims there is no political prisoner in Iran) were forced or they were given hopes of discharge if they signed the paper blaming Obama for sanction just prior to Eide Fetr celebration where generally there is an amnesty for qualified prisoners every years. I do not know what Guardian can do to rectify this mishap but for the sake of Guardian readership and integrity of journalism, a more investigative and a through reporting is essential.

    Mr. Afshin jam Afshin , Iranian-Canadian political and human rights activist ,

    Posted by Afshin jam Afshin | August 10, 2013, 6:01 am

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