IPI Awards Prominent Iranian Journalist its Highest Honor: Mashallah Shamsolvaezin is named 2014 World Press Freedom Hero
The International Press Institute (IPI) announced Iranian journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin has been named IPI World Press Freedom Hero.
Shamsolvaezin is the former editor, and in some cases founder, of four reformist dailies, Kayhan, Jame’eh (later Tous), Neshat, and Asr-e Azadegan, which were all successively shut down by Iran’s authorities.
He was jailed numerous times for his criticism of government policies, the longest detention period being the 17 months he spent in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison in 2000-2001 in connection with an article criticizing capital punishment that was deemed insulting to Islamic principles.
Shamsolvaezin serves as spokesman for the Iranian Committee for the Defense of Freedom of the Press and as vice president of the, now-defunct, Association of Iranian Journalists.
A former recipient of CPJ’s 2000 International Press Freedom award for courage and independence in reporting the news, Shamsolvaezin just last month criticized the Iranian government for failing to protect press freedom, telling the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA): “In the past and under the former administration, the Ministry of Guidance’s press branch would accept media community members with open arms. They would talk with them, but it would all end up with no result.” The Rohani government, he told ILNA, is operating in exactly the same manner.