The Voice of Liberty
For the past four decades, the Iranian people have endured unspeakable torture, massacres, imprisonment, and economic disasters, all of which have been brought about by the ruling theocratic regime. The world remembers how young Iranians rose up by the hundreds of thousands in 2009 and again in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to demand regime change. They were brutally suppressed by the regime’s forces on the streets and in the prisons of Tehran and other cities.
The clerical regime’s abysmal human rights record has been strongly denounced over 65 times by various United Nations bodies. Not a day goes by in Iran without someone being executed, tortured, murdered or imprisoned for political reasons. Iran under the mullahs is the number one per capita executioner of its own citizens and the foremost executor of children. It is also the world’s biggest prison of journalists, according to human rights bodies. Through their vast censorship campaign, the Iranian rulers try their utmost to keep genuine information from getting out of and into Iran.
But the tide of the mullahs’ destruction surpasses the boundaries of Iran. The regime’s nuclear program, albeit limited by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, and its growing terrorist threats have targeted people all over the world. Terrorist attacks from Azerbaijan to Thailand to India and African countries have been linked to the regime’s terrorist entities. In 2018, the U.S., France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark uncovered various terrorist plots by the Iranian regime against dissidents.
Meanwhile, Iranian regime proxies have left a trail of blood and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria, killing thousands of innocent civilians. The regime’s tentacles have even reached the shores of the United States, with their agents planning to assassinate foreign ambassadors, Iranian dissidents and to explode bombs in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Some 3,400 brave Iranians, who used to reside in Camp Liberty in Iraq until their resettlement in Europe, including 2,200 residents whom Albania welcomed in September 2016, were subjected to numerous attacks and endured three brutal massacres by the regime and its Iraqi proxies, during which over 140 died and more than 1,400 were injured. These residents, 1,000 of them women, and a third of them former political prisoners, are an inspiration to Iranian youth and women seeking democratic change in Iran. Many of their slogans and messages were chanted by protestors in December 2017 and January 2018 in over 300 major Iranian cities.
These courageous activists and the oppressed nation of Iran need to be heard. Information about them should not be dictated by a tyrannical system seeking to subjugate them for eternity. To this end, seminars, conferences and workshops will be organized and a wide range of publications will be utilized to get the message out.
Most tellingly, the Iranian regime shows profound animosity and trepidation towards the opposition satellite TV channel, Iranian National Television or “Simay-e Azadi” (www.iranntv.com). In a country where the media is completely controlled by the state, INTV broadcasts a fresh outlook infused with the message of hope and freedom for the Iranian people. It presents them with accurate and extensive information not only about the regime’s misdeeds, but also about the support people in other parts of the world have voiced for the Iranian people. INTV regularly reports on the extensive publications and international conferences that provide education about democracy and also let the Iranian people know that they are not alone in their struggle for democracy. The satellite channel presents the image of an alternative Iran, one that has a much brighter future, and is free, economically prosperous, devoid of nuclear weapons, and at peace with its neighbors. Many prominent lawmakers, human rights activists, religious leaders, and internationally known political and cultural personalities speak at these events held around the world.
This explains why the regime has considerably expanded its efforts to jam the signals of the popular satellite TV channel to prevent it from being watched in Iranian living rooms. In this light, it is critical that all of us join hands and do whatever necessary to keep the free flow of information in and out of Iran by enabling and assisting what has now emerged as the most objective and impartial source of news and information about Iran.
Please help to:
- Purchase satellite time to educate the public about Iran’s threats
- Enable Iranians to inform the free world of their will for a democratic change in Iran
- Provide the Iranian youth with the tools to disseminate news about the dictators in Iran
- Organize symposiums, briefings and conventions to give voice to Iranian dissidents
- Support for Simay-e Azadi Satellite Television network
- …I remember when I was about 7 years old, we watched INTV in Tehran, Iran. INTV at that time broadcast only 2 hours of programming from 21:00 to 23:00 in the evening. My brother, my parents and I tried every day to finish our work before that time so that we could watch the programs. Of course we hid our satellite dish, otherwise the Iranian regime could find out and my parents could be arrested. We loved INTV because the mullahs had made Iran into a big prison. When you find even a small sign of hope out of this prison, it becomes everything for you. The INTV which is the vision of freedom and the Iranian resistance and the hope of people of Iran is playing that role….
- — Siavosh Rajizadeh, law student and a human rights activist in the Netherlands
Voice of Liberty
The US Foundation for Liberty and Human Rights is seeking funding for its Voice of Liberty project to help expand the programs and the outreach of Simay-e Azadi (Visage of Liberty) satellite television channel.
For the past four decades, the Iranian people have endured unspeakable torture, repression, imprisonment, and economic calamity under the current theocratic regime. Through systematic censorship of the media inside Iran, the regime has tried to deny millions of Iranians with access to uncensored and unfiltered news about the outside world. The United Nations has repeatedly condemned flagrant violations of human rights in Iran. On December 17, 2018, the UN rebuked Iran for its long-standing violations of human rights and called on the regime to ensure “that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” A September 4, 2019 Report by the Secretary-General to the UN General Assembly said: “Since the previous report of the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly (A/72/562), the application of the death penalty, including for juvenile offenders for the crime of murder, has continued at a high rate..”
The report goes on to say: “Restrictions on and oppression of journalists and human rights defenders continued; individuals were arrested, detained and prosecuted for the peaceful exercise of their profession or their rights to freedoms of expression and association. No improvement was observed in the situation of religious and ethnic minorities, who remain subject to restrictions. Women and girls continued to face discrimination, including in the areas of marriage, employment and political participation.”
This situation has created a vital need for the Iranian people to access outside news sources and outlets. Simay-e Azadi was established to respond to this need and has served as a trusted news outlet both inside and outside the country. It has become a reliable, popular, and credible source, giving voice to the aspirations and dreams of Iranians everywhere.
Its operations rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers around the world, mostly intellectuals, writers, artists, journalists, and activists trying to act as a bridge and conduit for awareness. Simay-e Azadi is funded by donations from its viewers and other interested individuals only and has no advertising. The principal funding vehicle is telethons held three to four times per year, which invite viewers to call and make contributions to enable the Channel to continue its programming. The financial contributions help the channel to expand programming and viewership within the country.
The extensive number of news reports and programs from inside Iran and the exiled community reflects this Channel’s rapid pace of growth and popularity. Thousands of reports and letters regularly received by Simay-e Azadi show that Iranians have embraced it as their most reliable source for information. This campaign is an effort to continue to build on the previous successes of Simay-e Azadi and inform the Iranian people about important developments across the globe, which affect their daily lives.
Simay-e Azadi’s goals are:
- Fund educational broadcasts internationally to reach the Iranian public;
- Broadcast documentary films marking events of global magnitude, which are otherwise unavailable to the Iranian public, such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day;
- Facilitate programs to promote democracy, human rights, and a secular non-nuclear republic in Iran;
- Help connect those Iranians who are striving to achieve a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic in Iran;
- Help Iranian political refugees keep informed;
- Provide coverage for educational events, i.e., symposiums, conferences, and briefings;
- Organize broadcasts to educate the public in the United States;
- Prepare documentaries on research studies, and publish reports highlighting the dangers posed by the Iranian regime, and the opportunities existing within the Iranian society.
Considering the importance of Simay-e Azadi in keeping the Iranian people informed of events outside Iran and, at the same time, in providing otherwise unavailable news and reports about developments inside Iran to the outside world, one of the major programs of the U.S. Foundation for Liberty and Human Rights is called “Voice of Liberty.” By making Simay-e Azadi one of its major campaigns, USFLHR seeks to help this independent satellite channel sustain itself, improve the quality and the diversity of its programing and expand its reach to every citizen in Iran.
Simay-e Azadi (Iranntv.com) was founded in 1996 by exiled Iranian members of parliament, scholars, and intellectuals advocating the establishment of a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran. Despite the risks to Iranians who receive Simay-e Azadi inside Iran, 10 million Iranians watch its programs inside the country and about four million expatriates watch it outside the country. More than 100,000 visit its webpage and some of its Youtube clips have been viewed by as many as 1.5 million viewers. In recent years, Simay-e Azadi has launched a mobile App, and can be watched on Facebook, Telegram and other social media Apps, making it easily accessible to millions of young Iranians inside the country.
Iranian authorities have expressed grave concerns about the impact of this satellite channel on Iranian families, especially the youth. Ali Darabi, the Deputy Director of Iran’s Radio and Television Broadcasting, IRIB, told the semi-official ISNA News Agency on November 14, 2009, “Today, because 40 percent of people have access to various types of satellite networks, it can be said that a majority of our people have the same level of access as the elites do.” He added, “The enemy is no longer investing in the military arena. It has redirected major investment into media warfare through satellite networks… Some of these media outlets that have penetrated a majority of Iranian households include Simay-e Azadi [Iranntv].”