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Iran and the freedom of speech over there - Essay Example

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Government suppression of speech is common throughout the world even in the U.S. to some extent. A bill (SOPA) was introduced in Congress earlier this year but was set aside due to public outcry. This bill…
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Download file to see previous pages While the U.S. is not guilt free in regards to the suppression of speech, the situation is far superior to that of Iran where speaking out against the government often results in long prison sentences and death. The tactic is used to control information thus the opinions of the public which makes it easier to rule over them. If all they hear and read is that Iran is always in the right, such as building a strictly electric producing nuclear program, and other countries and cultures are oppressive, such as the evil intentions of the U.S. and Israel, a common target of the Iranian press, the majority of the people will believe it. If this tactic sounds familiar, it also happens to all other nations.
The Iranian Constitution expressly provides for the freedom of speech, expression and the press unless that speech is deemed harmful to the elementary principles of Islam or the human rights of the public. (“Human Rights,” 2010). This exception is vague enough to extend to most any type of speech or expression but the government, in reality, acts as if nothing about free speech was included in its Constitution. Freedom of speech, expression and the press is closely monitored and rigorously restricted in Iran. “There (are) no basic legal safeguards for freedom of expression and the government, notably the judiciary, arbitrarily enforces censorship measures against the independent press.” (“Human Rights,” 2010). The distribution of information is limited due to government as well as self-censorship from fear of retaliation. The Chairman of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, was asked on the Charlie Rose Show if anyone challenged the authority, actions or decrees of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. He answered “Oh, definitely yes. Definitely, I mean, nobody is immune from challenge.” (“Human Rights,” 2010). Despite Larijani’s assurances, government officials regularly stifle free speech ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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