In the past four decades, the ayatollahs have turned Iran into a giant prison. A scary jail that even bans citizens from thinking outside of the Führer’s desires and paths. Adolf Hitler exploited the Germans’ national sensitives. However, Iran’s Führer, the Supreme Leader, pulls the strings of citizens’ religious beliefs.
Under the theocracy ruling Iran, the people have systematically been banned from freedom of expression, free media, and dissent. Having an opposite idea or respecting plurality are unforgivable crimes and ‘defendants’ face life imprisonment, torture, and physical elimination.
In such a prison, authoritarians allow only one kind of media to continue its activity, one that delights the Supreme Leader’s system or merely publishes and promotes its opinion. This media should serve oppressive apparatuses. Furthermore, it must defend state-backed terrorism and facilitate torturing and eliminating opponents.
Today, 81-year-old Ali Khamenei is Iran’s Supreme Leader. He inherited this position from the Islamic Republic founder Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989. Evidence shows that he has prepared his son Mojtaba and paved the path for allocating the rule to him after his eventual death. Observers believe Khamenei’s health condition has deteriorated due to his incurable cancer.
Tyranny, Censorship, and Falsification Policy
Exploiting the public’s religious thoughts, the dictatorship jeopardizes the people’s lives, health, and fate. They have distorted every concept to take their advantages, and their foremost goal is preserving their tyranny in power.
Since 1979, they betrayed Iranian citizens and diverted the people’s struggle for equality and freedom. Instead of a democratic government, they shaped a cruel dictatorship under the banner of the ‘faith,’ which is far more oppressive than its predecessor.
However, nationwide protests displayed that the government’s oppressive policies have been defeated and authorities can no longer cut off Iranians’ access to the outside. Thanks to technology and the emergence of new devices for easier and more stable communications, today, people can simply spread their voice and show their complaints and grievances.
This development also enables different classes of society to act with mote unity and coordinate their activities. Furthermore, they can rapidly send fresh reports about human rights violations and crackdowns on protesters outside the country. This issue would ease the scale of suppression and lead the international community to punish the dictatorship.
Netizens’ Activities Restrict Human Rights Abusers
For instance, in recent months, the clerical fascism faced international condemnation over its human rights abuses inside Iran. On December 16, the United Nations once again condemned the Iranian government’s grave and systematic violation of human rights. A day later, the European Parliament issued a condemnation and expressed its concerns about Iran’s human rights conditions.
In response, Iranian officials rejected international calls for improving the people’s fundamental rights. They blamed the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) for prompting the world to support peaceful protests and protesters. Notably, because of its expanded domestic network, the MEK plays a key role in exposing the ayatollahs’ and IRGC’s atrocities and crimes.
Earlier in late August, Iranian netizens had forced the government to suspend the death penalty against three young men detained by the State Security Forces (SSF) during gas protests in November 2019. Moreover, social media activists attracted the international community’s attention to Navid Afkari’s case, Iranian wrestling champion, who was nonetheless eventually executed for participating in peaceful protests.
People’s Shift to Cyberspace and the State’s Concern
Furthermore, people’s activities in cyberspace extremely concern the authorities. In this context, a known ‘reformist’ Abbas Abdi warned the government about incoming challenges. He explained that the state’s main challenge related to neither foreign relationship nor the economic field. It laid in the cultural area and monopolized media that have polarized society and led it to cyberspace.
In his article titled, ‘Shifting to virtual society,’ he admitted to the government’s weakness in curbing further discontents and protests. “Two decades ago, we had a media system and a real society. We could control society by many ways, including security, intelligence, judicial, or media forces. In reality, the monopolized media was the connection ring between all of the controlling elements,” Abdi wrote in Etemad [Trust] daily on December 19.
“However, with the emergence of satellites, internet, and then smartphones and social media, we witnessed alternative media shaping alongside official media. These [new media] are independent of official power. Therefore, the [state] has no effective power to supervise them,” he added.
This is a flagrant admission of the government’s prolonged efforts to cut off the people from the world. In summary, Abdi explicitly says that the censorship policies have been defeated and the people do not trust state-run media anymore.
In reality, the government’s oppressive measures pushed the people to gain reliable news through ‘unofficial’ sources, while ‘official’ sources broadcast and publish nothing but fake news and propaganda against political dissidents, minorities, and foreign countries. Failure to confine people’s thoughts and acknowledges is the authorities’ nightmare. They occasionally name it ‘losing the state’s social resources’ or ‘ending the people’s resilience;’ however, it has an apparent outcome: more anti-establishment protests.