Iranians protest Khatami media blackout online

Some Iranians on social media started using the hashtag ‘We will be Khatami’s media’ in defiance

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Some Iranians on social media have launched the hashtag “We will be Khatami’s media” in Persian after Tehran banned media from mentioning name of former President Mohammed Khatami, who was known as a reformer.

In defiance, users on Twitters started disseminating Khatami’s pictures with the hashtag, with some expressing their support to the former leader.

“I wish we could have more people like you,” one Twitter user said, while another said: “I learned from #Khatami that for democracy we first need to learn to communicate and tolerate the opposite opinion.”

A Facebook page, which garnered 26,810 likes as of Thursday, was also created.

The page was filled with Khatami’s pictures and the hashtag “we will be Khatamai’s media.”

Khatami, who became president starting 1997 till 2005, was regarded as Iran’s first reformist president. His campaign was on the rule of law, democracy and the inclusion of all Iranians in the political decision-making process.

On Monday, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary said Tehran’s justice department had issued a ruling that prohibits any mentions of Khatami in the Iranian media.

“There is an order that bans the media from publishing photos or reports about this person,” Mohseni-Eje’i said, referring to Khatami without naming him, according to the semi-official Isna news agency.

Isna also did not name Khatami in its report of the spokesman’s briefing with Iranian reporters but referred to him as “the leader of the reformist government.”

Iran’s judicial system is dominated by conservatives and works separately from President Hassan Rowhani’s government, leaving the leader incapable of influencing its decisions.

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