The Paris-based media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has included Iran in its annual list of countries it considers as “predators” of press freedom, including political leaders, criminal organisations and militias from across the world.
According to the group, as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei “is responsible for the continuing crackdown on journalists and others” since the rigged presidential election of 2009 which won Ahmadinejad a second term in office. “His virulent and inflammatory criticism of media with international links has fuelled the rage of government bodies carrying out the repression. He explicitly agreed to the judicial system staging show trials of journalists in August 2009 and January 2010 and giving journalists and bloggers heavy prison terms and sometimes death sentences. The Revolutionary Guards, commanded by Khamenei, control Teheran’s Evin prison so he is directly responsible for the torture and other abuses of journalists and bloggers jailed there.”
The media watchdog “accuses Khamenei of crimes against humanity,” adding that Ahmadinejad is “directly responsible for this crackdown, which he organises with the ministries of intelligence, culture and Islamic guidance and the Revolutionary Guards.”