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RFE/RL, Radio Farda Focus on Iranian Election Anniversary

(PRAGUE, Czech Republic — June 11, 2010) In this video, reportedly shot shortly after the UN Security Council voted for new sanctions on Iran, protest chants of “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to the Dictator” can be heard from the rooftops of Tehran. According to RFE/RL’s Persian Letters blog, such chants have started up again in the Iranian capital despite opposition leaders’ calls to cancel demonstrations marking Saturday’s one-year anniversary of the disputed presidential election. Also on the blog, RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari has posted a new video showing Neda Soltan’s final seconds.

RFE/RL and its Persian-language service, Radio Farda, will be covering the anniversary with interviews and programs focusing on the state of the Green Movement and comprehensive reporting of this weekend’s events. They will also broadcast into Iran interactive roundtable discussions with prominent politicians, religious leaders, opposition figures and political analysts.

The RFE/RL website features a slideshow of paintings by the Iranian artist “Termeh” documenting last year’s demonstrations; correspondent Robert Tait breaks down the current state of the Islamic Republic; Golnaz Esfandiari looks at the role of new media in Iran’s opposition movement; and RFE/RL profiles the leadership of the Iranian opposition in trading-card format.

In the past year, Radio Farda has stepped up its programming to Iran by adding additional hours of daily news coverage. One of the station’s most popular new shows is Farshid Manafi’s nightly, one-hour live satire called Pas Farda (The Day After Tomorrow). Manafi’s irreverent comedy sketches and impersonations are enormously popular in Iran (visit the show’s Farsi website), and is well-known for pushing the limits on critical satire. Four years ago, Manafi’s lively programs on state television and radio were shut down by censors, and he was fired.

>Earlier this week, Salam Farshid, a Pas Farda listener from Tehran, called Manafi’s show with a “complaint”:

“You have disrupted our lives,” he said. “Every night at 10pm, when your show comes on, we have to stop what we’re doing or cancel appointments to listen to the program.”

SEE ALSO: Complete RFE/RL Iran Coverage

About Radio Farda
Radio Farda provides objective and accurate news and information to counter state censorship and ideology-based media coverage in Iran. Radio Farda’s website receives nearly 11 million page views every month.