Iran: the emergence of Internet newspapers

Global Voices Online » Iran: Protests prompt emergence of underground Internet newspapers

:newspaper:The recent emergence of internet newspapers in Iran is evidence of the will of Iranian citizens and opposition forces to continue to communicate even as the Islamic Republic intensifies censorship, filtering and repression. By reading Internet newspapers we learn that the Iranian protest movement is as diverse as is Iranian society and its blogosphere.

In the last two months, the Islamic Republic’s security forces have tightened their grip on the media, this after Iran was swept by large-scale protests against the June 12 presidential election results, which declared incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner.

(…) Under such difficult circumstances for the media, we are witnessing a new phenomenon inside Iran: the emergence of “underground” Internet

At the end of June, at least two such newspapers were launched: Khyaboon (”Street”) and Kalam Sabz (”Green Word”) where the word “green” is a reference to Mir Hussein Mousavi’s campaign colors. So far, Khyaboon has published 13 issues and Kalam Sabz has published 10. Khyaboon is available only by email and the paper has no website or blog. Kalam Sabz also uses email, but has a website. Both journals are distributed in PDF file format.

A common point between two publications is that both of them are against the current president and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayathollah Ali Khamenei‘s decision to approve Ahmadinejad’s victory.

(…) Reading the new underground internet newspapers offers a sense of deepening crisis in Iran and the sad state of its media. Khyaboon and Kalam Sabz shed light on the divergent strains within the protest movement and the way in which one part of society radicalises its requests and slogans.

Zeitoon, an Iran-based blogger, describes a similar situation on her blog. At a Thursday demonstration she observed lots of “down with Khamenei”, “down with dictator” and “Allaho Akbar” slogans, but there were only a few times that she heard Mousavi’s name.

Meanwhile in Canada, a global day of action demanding an end to the persecution and imprisonment of opposition activists in Iran, has taken place. In the Netherlands, around 2000 people turned up to Amsterdam’s anti-Iran demonstration. In several other parts of the world, there were also demonstrations and gatherings in protest for the brutal repression of oponents by the Islamist regime.

A list of those killed or arrested by Government forces during post-elections riots, can be found here.

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