'Sorry We Lied to You!' Does Resignation of Iranian Journalists Mean People Are No Longer Afraid?

Published January 15th, 2020 - 10:01 GMT
'Sorry We Lied to You!' Does Resignation of Iranian Journalists Mean People Are No Longer Afraid?
Some activists also expressed their happiness for having journalists finally unwilling to lie to the people anymore. (AFP)

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'.

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'.

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.

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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