Iran

79 million people
4,520 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Not Free

News & Updates


Authoritarian regimes around the world are exporting their worst practices and working together to repress their own citizens and undermine human rights standards internationally. They have collaborated extensively to strengthen their grip on power, often in the face of domestic discontent and international criticism. This cooperation, which might be dubbed “authoritarian internationalism,” presents a significant challenge to democracy around the world and has likely contributed to the decline in global freedom registered by Freedom House over the past seven years.

To mark the introduction into the House and Senate of resolutions to condemn the persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran, the Baha’is of the United States and Freedom House co-hosted a conference on Wednesday that featured accounts from relatives of imprisoned Baha’is.

With the upcoming presidential elections in Iran on 14 June 2013, the international community—particularly election monitors and free expression activists—should be very worried about the plight of Iran’s netizens. They rely heavily on circumvention tools, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxy websites, to access the tens of thousands of websites blocked by Iran’s centralized filtering system, but observers say this practice is not keeping pace with Iran’s expanding capability for online repression.

This Thursday, former senator Chuck Hagel will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee to seek confirmation as secretary of defense. While he will not have primary responsibility for U.S. foreign relations in that post, he will have substantial influence over U.S. policy toward regimes that are hostile to both American interests and democracy. Senator Hagel’s record on these issues raises critical questions that should be addressed during the hearing, which are included in the following blog post.

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Signature Reports

Special Reports

Leaping Over the Firewall: A Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools

Internet censorship poses a large and growing challenge to online freedom of expression around the world. Censorship circumvention tools are critical to bypass restrictions on the internet and thereby to protect free expression online.
 
This document provides a comparison among different circumvention tools, both in terms of their technical merits, as well as how users of these tools describe their experience with them. The countries included in this report are Azerbaijan, Burma, China and Iran.

 

Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks

The government of Iran is teaching the country's children to discriminate against women and minorities, to view non-Muslims with suspicion if not contempt, and to perpetuate the regime's theocratic

Programs

Freedom House supports democracy and human rights leaders across the Middle East and North Africa region in exposing human rights abuses and pressing for reform.

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