Iran: Newly appointed IRIB head is blacklisted in EU for human rights violations

Mohammad Sarafraz is on the EU human rights blacklist

NCRI – The Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has appointed Mohammad Sarafraz as the new head of the state broadcasting service (IRIB). Sarafraz is on the European blacklist of figures blamed for human rights violations in Iran.

Sarafraz, a member of the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is listed by the EU because of his cooperation with the Iranian regime’s intelligence services and prosecutors to broadcast forced confessions of detainees.

The new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the media corporation in charge of controlling national radio and television broadcasting, is appointed for a five-year term in a decree by Ali Khamenei. The president of IRIB is considered to be a very sensitive position and is directly supervised by Khamenei.

Sarafraz, has been the long-time head of IRIB’s World Service, which is responsible for running foreign-language satellite channels such as Press TV and Spanish-language HispanTV.

The official Journal of the European Union dated 11 March 2013 stated Mohammad Sarafraz, also known as Haj-agha Sarafraz, who heads the IRIB World Service and Press TV, is “responsible for all programming decisions. Closely associated with the state security apparatus. Under his direction Press TV, along with IRIB, has worked with the Iranian security services and prosecutors to broadcast forced confessions of detainees.”

Sarafraz is therefore associated with violating the right to due process and fair trial.

In his decree, Ali Khamenei described the IRIB as a ‘public university’ responsible for the expansion of ‘religion and morality’ meaning the export of fundamentalism and terrorism. In the Iranian regime’s lexicon, Tehran’s Evin Prison is also described as ‘a university.

The Press TV frequently broadcasts disinformation against the main Iranian opposition movement – the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

An investigative report prepared by the Pentagon and the US Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, and published in January 2013 made striking revelations about the extent of activities by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) against dissidents, in particular efforts to discredit the main opposition- the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK).

“The ministry has a Department of Disinformation, which is in charge of creating and waging psychological warfare against the enemies of the Islamic Republic.”

Press TV and other networks associated with the IRIB work closely with the Department of Disinformation at the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security’s.

Sarafraz replaced Ezatollah Zarghami, who served as a general in the Revolutionary Guard and had been blacklisted by the European Union on 23 March 2012 for authorizing the broadcasting of “forced confessions of detainees and ‘show trials’ in August 2009 and December 2011.”

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