Iran was ranked 169th out of 195 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 World Press Freedom Index.
Reporters Without Borders (RWB), the international charity dedicated to fighting for the rights of journalists, said that despite some changes in international relations, Iran was still one of the most oppressive countries in the world.
Iran has strict censorship of the media, an almost complete lack of government transparency and frequent imprisonment of journalists and citizen journalists. In 2015 alone, 40 journalists were questioned by the Regime and 15 were sentenced to prison. There are currently 24 journalists imprisoned in the country.
The media law of 1986 (expanded in 2000 and 2009 to include online publications) allows the Regime to interfere with or put a stop to information that could be deemed harmful to the Iranian Regime or could offend the Supreme Leader. Since 1989, over 400 journalists have been convicted of breaking that law and 500 have fled abroad.
The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, is named on the RWB website as a Predator of Press Freedom. In a speech to Tarbiat Modares University in 1998, he said that press freedom meant nothing to him.
Their ranking in the RWB is still in the bottom 15% of all countries.