Home News Terrorism Blacklist IRGC, for the Role of Its Intelligence Organization in Suppressing Journalists

Blacklist IRGC, for the Role of Its Intelligence Organization in Suppressing Journalists

One of the most infamous and brutal organizations is the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The Iranian regime’s structure of a military, totalitarian, authoritarian, and theocratic dictatorship possesses many oppressive apparatuses to control and suppress the ever-growing fury and conflict within Iranian society.

One of the most infamous and brutal organizations is the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It was established in 2009 as one of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s initiatives after the nationwide protests to the fraud election at the time.

The organization is as powerful as the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS,) and possibly even more so than the other services. It is more active domestically.

Prior to 2009, the IRGC’s intelligence branch had around 2,000 personnel. After 2009, the regime expanded this division, which is responsible for gathering and analyzing information in the broader Muslim world and targeting its opposition groups and individuals. This security division within the IRGC reports directly to Khamenei’s personal office.

This article is merely examining the role of the IRGC Intelligence Organization in suppressing journalists and social activists. In the early years of its activities, the IRGC Intelligence Organization acted against and suppressed national-religious activists, such as Ezzatollah Sahabi, and members of the Freedom Movement of Iran. The second wave of attacks was on political and civil activists in 2002.

During this year, a wide range of political activists was arrested and imprisoned in the 2-Alef ward at Evin Prison, which the IRGC heavily controls. Student activists and bloggers were also among the inmates. The third wave of arrests came around the time of the 2009 elections. For the past 15 years, the IRGC has continued its role as one of the main organizations in repression.

In 2015, in line with expanding the powers of the IRGC Intelligence Organization, this organization was introduced as the judicial police force, under Article 29 of the Criminal Procedure Code, without being approved by the regime’s parliament.

The Judicial Commission of the parliament then changed Article 190 which states that ‘initial investigations of the accused without the presence of a lawyer are not valid’. This also was not approved by the parliament and became effective immediately. This gave this organization free rein to implement its inhuman ambitions in a bid to protect the regime.

In the years after the implementation of this law, many journalists, social and political activists, and opponents of the regime were arrested, tortured, jailed, arbitrarily killed, forcibly disappeared, and even executed. One such victim is Navid Afkari who was executed following the 2019 protests.

The role of the IRGC intelligence organization in the murders of Kavus Seyed Emami, Mohammad Raji, Sina Qanbari, and Vahid Heydari; in the execution of political prisoners, like Zaniar Moradi, Loqman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi; or in the torture of Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, is blatantly obvious.

This organization has also raided the homes of many reporters and journalists, confiscating their belongings especially, communication devices, such as their mobile phones, laptops, and computers.

Victims such as Yasman Khalegian, Maziar Khosravi, Mouloud Hajizadeh, Yaghma Fashkhami, Mona Mafi, Ehsan Badaghi, Yashar Soltani, Mohammad Mosaed, Shabnam Nezami are among the journalists whom the IRGC Intelligence Organization played a major role in arresting and suppressing.

In recent years, many other people have been repressed and tortured by the IRGC Intelligence Organization, including Arash Sadeghi, Sohail Arabi, Atena Daemi, Golrokh Iraei, Zainab Jalalian, Maryam Akbari Monfared, Hashem Khastar, Soha Mortezaei, along with countless other political, social, and economic activists as the role of the IRGC intelligence organization has expanded due to popular protests.

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the deputy coordinator of the IRGC, stated in 2019, “It’s been about three years since the intelligence of the IRGC has been out of military mode.” At the time, this acknowledgment showed new dimensions of the IRGC’s role in suppressing political and social activists.

In a report published on October 14, 2022, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wrote that “with 41 journalists in prison, Iran is now the world’s third biggest jailer of journalists.”

In a recent article, they stated that “since the beginning of 2023, authorities have so far arrested eight journalists and photographers due to their journalistic activities.”

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