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Iranian Opposition Launches Its Own Satellite TV Channel

RASA TV's logo
RASA TV's logo
Iran's opposition Green Movement has officially launched a new satellite TV channel, RASA TV (Resan-e Sabz-e Iran or Iran's Green Media), RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ebrahim Nabavi, one of the channel's organizers, said their aim is to break the state-controlled broadcasters' monopoly on the flow of information, fight against censorship in Iran, reflect the views of all Iranian people, and frankly discuss all issues related to Iran.

"During the last year, Iran's state TV never broadcast any [objective] news about the Green Movement, and what it did broadcast was lies," Nabavi said.

Nabavi pointed to two factors he believes served as incentives for launching the new channel: the lack of news about political prisoners and the victims of the crackdown that followed the June 2009 presidential election, and manipulation of the news by the Iranian authorities.

"Censorship and distortion of the news in Iran led us to establish a new media to collect news from inside Iran and then broadcast it back into the country again," he explained.

As result of budgetary limitations, RASA TV currently broadcasts only a one-hour news program. But its managers are willing to expand the program if they receive more donations.

"To start with, we have one hour of news, but we are willing to post pictures or video clips in our archive, too," Nabavi said.

Nabavi says RASA TV differs from other broadcast outlets like Radio Farda, the BBC's Persian Service, and Deutsche Welle. He says those broadcasters are financially dependent on foreign governments and have to follow the guidelines they set down, whereas RASA TV operates on the basis of donations from people around the world.

"If the Iranian Green Movement wants to achieve its goals in the long term, it is necessary to have an independent media like RASA TV," he said.

Nabavi told Radio Farda that the donations for launching RASA TV were raised by a campaign on its Facebook page to which many people contributed small amounts.

RASA TV's headquarters are based in Brussels, but many of its journalists live in different countries and communicate via the Internet.

The channel debuted on August 31.