Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Iran Government Hardens Against Cultural Reforms

The new Iranian government is taking a severe stance against cultural reforms achieved under the previous government.

So who and what are in the sights of the new Minister of Culture, hardliner Mohammed-Hossein Saffar-Harandi? Here's a partial list: books and book-censors; cinemas, theaters, films and film censors; newspapers; cultural associations.

One expects writers and intrepid Iranian bloggers to round out the list. Who else might be intimidated or silenced? Teachers and professors? Moderate or secular political candidates? Civil servants? judges?

Restricting the tenuous freedoms and cultural opportunities that the Iranian people have experienced is an ill-omen, with disturbing implications for the future.

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