Iranian documentary photographer Milad Alaei, a former employee of the semiofficial Fars news agency, recently fled Iran and is now seeking asylum in Austria. Alaei told RFE/RL that he decided to leave after his editor assaulted him. He filed a complaint but was met with threats and legal charges, including “disrupting public opinion” and “ties with media opposed to the Islamic establishment.”
In an interview with RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari, Alaei said that photographers in Iran are accustomed to censorship of their work and know which subjects are considered off-limits. He said the Fars news agency is considered more restrictive than many media outlets because it is affiliated with the hard-line Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Alaei also noted that even formerly acceptable subjects can fall under a media blackout. For example, Iran's judiciary has banned all media from publishing photos of, or even mentioning, reformist former President Mohammad Khatami.
Here are some of Alaei's photos that have been barred from publication in Iran.
Photo Gallery: The Photos That Maddened The Mullahs
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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers. Follow @GEsfandiari