Freedom After Expression


Freedom After Expression (2015) is the fifth and last activity of “Shiva: Struggles against Censorship in Iran” project. In the midst of political disputes and fragmentations within the Islamic Republic of Iran, the challenge of freedom of after expression becomes more prevalent.

The more moderate presidents and cabinets of the Islamic Republic seem to have the ability or the willingness to open up only minimal spaces in the larger scheme of the repressive political structure. These spaces, even if small and still limiting, are key to the creative growth of youth and others in the country. However, the moderate authorities do not even seem to have the will or the authority to guarantee the freedom of those who express themselves and their opinions in these nascent small spaces that emerge under their rule. This is a challenge that many journalists, bloggers, writers, artists and civil society actors face in today’s Iran.

Freedom of After Expression is a series of case studies of anonymous journalists, artists, and civil society actors who are called to court in the aftermath of publishing an article, posting their artwork online, establishing an organization, etc. These case studies aim to capture the legal rights that even the limiting laws of the Islamic Republic reserve for these individuals. The ultimate aim of these case studies is to help those active in Iran in the space of art and culture to know their existing, and not necessary ideal, legal rights in the Islamic Republic to better defend themselves when questioned or persecuted by the state.

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Episode 5: Freedom After Expression in Universities

In the fifth (and final) episode of Freedom After Expression, legal experts discuss the conditions of expression that university students and professors face in today’s Iran. In this episode, legal experts present a historic overview of the Cultural Revolution that followed the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and its implications on Iranian universities. In the end, they mention the case of a few students and academicians who were imprisoned for their activism, and analyze the specific legal and judicial aspects of these examples.
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Episode 4: Freedom After Expression in Media

In the fourth episode of Freedom After Expression, legal experts discuss the media in Iran, its limitations and censorship apparatus. While emphasizing the close tie of freedom of press and media with the conditions of democracy, legal experts address the constitutional, historic, political and legal aspects of freedom after expression in the Iranian press. Further, they explore relevant statistics and various case studies in this context.
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Episode 3: Freedom After Expression in Arts

In the third episode of Freedom After Expression, legal experts discuss the circumstances of artists in the context of their rights in the aftermath of the creation of their art. In this episode we hear about the legality of freedom of after expression, and the lack of it, in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Further, the legal experts present a socio-political history of the repression of arts and artists in contemporary Iran, while also highlighting the emergence of laws that would restrict an artist’s freedom after expression.
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Episode 2: Freedom After Expression for Women in Public Sphere (Islamic Veil)

In the second episode of Freedom After Expression, legal experts discuss the case of Islamic veil, women and the moral police in contemporary Iran. In this episode we hear about the specifics of freedom of appearance (clothing) in a given society. Further, the program’s legal experts also address social and religious norms in a country like Iran in the context of Islamic veil. Ultimately, this episode provides a contextual, historic and legal overview of the formation of the moral police, and the emergence of mandatory Islamic veil for women.
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Episode 1: Freedom After Expression for Women in Public Sphere (Stadiums)

In the first episode of Freedom After Expression, legal experts discuss the case of women in stadiums in Iran. In doing so, they explore the specifics of freedom of assembly, while closely looking at relevant laws and arguments of the Islamic Republic justifying the banning of women’s presence in stadiums. Further, this discussion also provides an overview of the historic and political factors that have contributed to the challenges of women’s presence in stadiums in contemporary Iran.
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  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014