Amidst a very tense week of continuous protests in Iran following the government statement admitting to 'mistakenly' downing a passenger jet killing 176 people a week ago, three female journalists and TV presenters have quit their jobs at state-run media agencies, with one of them apologizing to people for working for the government TV for 13 years and expressing her inability to 'lie anymore'.
At least two presenters working for the Iranian state broadcaster IRIB quit in protest over not being able to do their jobs and government cover-ups, one - Gelare Jabbari - apologizing for being told to lie for 13 years #journalists #mediafreedom #Iran pic.twitter.com/fFso8jGJN7— BlueprintGreece (@BlueprintGreece) January 14, 2020
2/2— Gtmo Citizen (@US_proudcitizen) January 14, 2020
of its downing of a Ukrainian airliner.
Gelare Jabbari posted an apology on an Instagram.
“Thank you for accepting me as anchor until today," said Zahra Khatami. "I will never get back to TV. Forgive me.”
Fellow anchor Saba Rad said she was leaving journalism after 21 years.
In her Instagram story, Gelare Jabbari explained that she has not been able to process the tragedy of the Ukranian airplane which was mistakenly shut down by Iranian missiles last week. She asked her audience for 'forgiveness' as she considered her decision of leaving the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) a late one. She also offered apologies for 'reporting lies for 13 years.'
Some Iranian social media users welcomed the decision of Jabbari and two other reporters, calling their resignations as brave actions. Some activists also expressed their happiness for having journalists finally unwilling to lie to the people anymore, describing their actions as 'the beginning of state-media failure to make up stories'.
It takes courage to admit that you can not lie anymore. It could be to yourself or others. All it takes is a person with a vision and the courage to say no more and for someone else to pick up that fight when you can’t carry on. #freedomisworthfightingfor— D. Howell (@dan_depot) January 13, 2020
Wow! A broadcaster apologies for knowingly reporting false stories.— danielmurray (@sanccie26) January 13, 2020
Interesting...— ?? (@turtlemayank) January 14, 2020
The regime change calls upon, it's getting tougher to control them.
Iran has often been criticized for constantly suppressing press freedom, with most broadcasting and publishing services allowed being either run by the state or heavily censored to ensure that they have no chance of attacking the government. In addition to this, social media platforms face increasing censorship and the internet has been repeatedly shut down by the government during protests.
According to Reporters Without Borders, press freedom in Iran was ranked as 170th out of 180 countries and territories during 2018.
Remember, in places like Iran under regimes, you do as you’re told. It’s not a free country like ours.— Ben Fisher (@BenFisherCT) January 13, 2020
As protests against the political regime continue in Iran, fears mount of a possible government crackdown against protestors and activists. Last November, the country witnessed one of the worst crackdowns in decades, as government officials revealed that their forces killed about 1500 and arrested thousands of people who took to the streets to protest over increasing fuel prices.
This recent wave of protests erupted in different parts of the country last week, with people shouting very daring chants and openly targeting the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei seems to be encouraging people to express their opposing views, even ones who have been working for the government and promoting its own agenda.
During this week in Iran, more and more people are no longer afraid of speaking up against the government, despite a long history of the governments killing its rivals and locking them in jails.
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