National Reporter’s Day in Iran Date in the current year: August 8, 2024

National Reporter’s Day in Iran National Reporter’s Day (also known as National Journalist’s Day) in Iran is observed on August 8, which corresponds to the 17th of Mordad in the Iranian calendar. It was established to honor the memory of Iranian reporter Mahmoud Saremi who was assassinated in Afghanistan in 1998.

During the clashes between the Afghan Northern Alliance assembled by leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and the Taliban, Iran backed the Northern Alliance. The city of Mazar-i-Sharifh, where the Iranian consulate was situated, was originally controlled by the Alliance, but in May 1997, the Taliban forces made their first attempt to capture the city. After that, the battles of Mazar-i-Sharif continued for over a year.

On August 8, 1988, Taliban forces captured the city. A group of fighters (later identified as members of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan) attacked the Iranian consulate and killed several people. The Taliban spokesperson refused to take responsibility for the incident, claiming that the attackers were renegades who had acted without orders.

It was initially reported that the attackers killed eight Iranian diplomats, but later three more people were added to the death toll: two diplomats and a journalist working for the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). The journalist’s name was Mahmoud Saremi; he had been appointed IRNA’s head of office in Mazar-i-Sharif two years prior and was only 30 years old at the time of his death.

The attack on the consulate sparked a widespread public outcry in Iran, causing many international observers to worry that the Iranian government would sanction a military response to the incident. Indeed, 70,000 Iranian troops were deployed along the border with Afghanistan, ready to launch an offensive. Thankfully, the situation was diffused thanks to the mediation by the United Nations.

In memory of Mahmoud Saremi, who died in the line of duty, the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution declared his death anniversary as National Reporter’s Day. On August 8, all Iranian journalists accept congratulations on their professional holiday and gratitude for their hard work and dedication.

However, many people believe that the establishment of National Reporter’s Day was quite a hypocritical move because of widespread media censorship in Iran. Both publicly and privately owned Iranian media are subject to censorship; the country is at the very bottom of the Press Freedom Index, alongside North Korea, Turkmenistan, Eritrea, China, Djibouti, Vietnam and Syria. According to Reporters Without Borders, Iran has the highest number of jailed journalist among Middle Eastern states.

The Islamic Revolutionary Court, also known as the Revolutionary Tribunal, regularly inspects Iranian print media for violations (publication of anti-Islamic materials, slander or information deemed detrimental to the national interest) and suspends publications or revokes licenses if such violations are discovered. Iran has been described as one of the most repressive countries for journalists in the world, and its press is classified as not free.

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National Reporter’s Day in Iran, National Journalist’s Day in Iran, professional holidays, holidays in Iran, Iranian holidays