Hot on the heels of Iran's parliamentary elections, Iran's Culture Ministry has just closed nine movie, celeb, and lifestyle magazines for publishing pictures and stories about the life of "corrupt" foreign film stars and promoting "superstitions."
Waiting until after the election (counting is still under way, though it's expected that the conservatives will retain power) was a move some suspect would discourage retribution at the ballot box. To see the official reason for the shuttering of the pubs and what this means for the future of Iran,
The ministry closed down the mags for,
using photos of artists, especially foreign corrupt film stars, as instruments (to arouse desire), publishing details about their decadent private lives, propagating medicines without authorization, promoting superstitions.
The closures may be a harbinger of more government censorship to come. Iran has already seen a wave of newspaper closures amid a confrontation between reformers and hard-liners in the past ten years, and the judiciary has shut down more than 100 pro-reform newspapers jailing dozens of editors and writers since 2000.
While access to pictures of celebrities might not seem crucial, it's a canary down the mineshaft of freedom of thought. Do you think this is a step closer to tyranny, or just a government protecting the religious sensibilities of their people? What would you do if your government denied you access to PopSugar or Us Weekly?