Shutdown of Kurdish Magazines in Iran

20 Kurdish magazine and newspapers in one city were closed down by Iranian government

According to news agency Kurdpa, Press General Office of the Ministry of Culture said in a previous statement last year, the circulation of 21 Persian/Kurdish periodicals in Kurdistan were shut down.

This decision is taken based on Article 16 of the State Press Law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Among them quarterly, monthly and weekly publications are seen and their license has been revoked.

IRNA news agency quoted the provincial Department of Press and News Agencies in Sanandaj and periodicals names mentioned are, “Chro”, “Shar”, “Hnasay Awin”, “Shox u Shang” and “Raweja”.

According to Article 16 of the Press Law, the publication is obliged within six months of license issuance, to publish it. Otherwise given an opportunity of fifteen days with a written notice and in the absence of a plausible excuse, the license will be revoked.

These periodicals are not enjoying state subsidies since they belong to Kurdish community. Since distribution kiosks are managed by the ministry of Culture, therefore these publications do not get a shelf on kiosks and, therefore, need to distribute through other channels. Kurdish activists and publishers reject government official explanations and they say publications were revoked after the first issue, therefore they disappear from public exposure. They believe that government of Rouhani has staged a “soft war” against Kurdish culture, in contrary with what they see previously “hard war” staged by Ahmadinejad government.

Since 2003, Iran’s Press Freedom rankings have had free fall. According to Reporters without Borders, Iran among 180 countries on freedom of information, has a ranking of 173.

With 50 journalists detained, Iran continues to be one of five biggest jail for journalists.

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