Tehran-based journalist Reza Sayah helps us make sense of the protest movement in Iran after the controversial death of a twenty-two year old woman named Mahsa Amini.
On September 16, 2022, a twenty-two year old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died in police custody. The Tehran police said she was arrested for not wearing her headscarf properly. A few days after the arrest, a photo surfaced of Amini in a hospital bed. The police claim she died suddenly of a heart problem, but many Iranians believe she was beaten or killed. In the weeks following, a protest movement has spread around the country, with young women chanting anti-regime slogans and demanding their rights.
Since Amini’s death, the regime has arrested and imprisoned at least thirty-one journalists, according to the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders. In a country without press freedoms, and especially at a time of unrest, it’s very difficult for journalists to do their jobs. So, most news reports are coming from outside of Iran. On social media, a mix of posts by protesters, regime-backed news agencies, and others paint a confusing picture. And now, the government has blocked major social media platforms, further restricting the flow of information.
So for this special episode, we invited Tehran-based journalist Reza Sayah back to the show to help us make sense of what’s going on in Iran. Reza has reported on Iran for CNN and Al Jazeera. Lately, he’s been covering developments there for PBS Newshour and France 24.
We recorded this interview on October 10, 2022.
For more of Reza Sayah on the news media, listen to our previous episode: Reza Sayah: a bias towards peace
Making Peace Visible is a project of War Stories Peace Stories. Our mission is to bring journalists and peacebuilders together to re-imagine the way the news media covers peace and conflict, and to facilitate expanded coverage of global peace and reconciliation efforts. Join the conversation on Twitter: @warstoriespeace.
Making Peace Visible is hosted by Jamil Simon, and produced by Andrea Muraskin.
Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions, Meavy Boy, and Bill Vortex