Iranian Society More Closed Than Ever

One year after the disputed Iranian presidential election, the atmosphere in Iran is markedly different than the images of mass protests beamed across the airwaves and through cyberspace a year ago. Public demonstrations of dissent have all but disappeared and protesters have been forced underground — Iran is more of a closed society than ever.

The Iranian government repeatedly harasses  civil society activists. Hundreds of protesters arrested during or in the months following the demonstrations languish in jail.  Of those,, 250 have been tried and convicted, according to the Iranian judiciary. But many of those still in jail have never been charged, tried or convicted, and many of them have been  denied access to lawyers or family members for weeks or months on end.

At least six have been sentenced to death for their participation in the "green revolution." And at least nine other dissidents have been hanged in the past year.

The government has specifically targeted journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders for arrest, presumably because of their effectiveness in gathering information and communicating it to people both inside and outside of Iran.

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