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Iranian Opposition Demands Air Time On National TV

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian reformist, Ali Shakourirad called on Ezzatollah Zarghami, head of Iranian national broadcasting to allow government critics some space on television networks.

Green Opposition supporters hold a sign against IRIB at Tehran University for
its biased coverage
December 2009)

In a letter published in his own weblog, Shakourirad who was recently released from Evin Prison, first describes details of his recent interrogations by the judiciary and states that the reason for his arrest was an interview with Persian BBC television network.

He also adds that his arrest was also connected with his critical statements regarding the banning of the reformist party, Islamic Iran Participation Front.

Shakourirad was released last week after 16 days in solitary confinement.

Shakourirad writes that if critics of the government were given some opportunity to express their opinions on national television, then they would not turn toward foreign media outlets.

Addressing the head of Iranian national broadcasting, the senior member of the reformist party writes: "Even if we take the 13 million that you and the current government accepts to have voted for the opponents of Mr. Ahmadinejad; don't they get a share of the 24 hour programming of the national broadcasting? Instead the channels all carry adverse advertising against the reformists, and consistently provide false information regarding them."

He adds: "Thus the national broadcasting loses its credibility and people turn to non-governmental or foreign media outlets."

Shakourirad states that 13 million votes would translate into 35 percent; yet adds that even half an hour a day of programming allotted to the critics of the government would be a good start.

In the turmoil that followed the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, human rights defenders maintain that Islamic Republic national broadcasting policies and programming were instrumental in the oppression of protesters and violation of people's rights.

... Payvand News - 11/05/10 ... --

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