Iran censors soccer match over 100 times due to woman referee

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A television station controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran censored over 100 broadcast shots of a female referee during the Sunday British soccer match between Manchester United and Tottenham, sparking criticism on social media because of the regime’s sexism.

Sardar Pashaei, a world champion gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling for Iran, tweeted: “Last night, Iran TV interrupted the important game between Manchester United and Tottenham dozens of times, censoring its images, just because one of the referee’s match was a woman (@SianMasseyRef)[Sian Massey]. Will @FIFAcom [International Federation of Association Football] voice its objection to this gender discrimination by Iran?”

Pashaei was also the coach of Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team and a key activist in the campaign to secure justice for Navid Afkari, a wrestler executed by the regime in September 2020 for his demonstration against corruption in the Islamic Republic.

Writing on the website of My Stealthy Freedom, which promotes a campaign against the compulsory hijab in the Islamic Republic, Vahid Yücesoy said that “Iranian TV was forced to crudely cut away more than a 100 times from the live game between Premier League giants Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday much to bemusement of the viewers.”

He added that “The reason: one of the assistant referees was a woman!! Shocking though it seems, Islamic Republic leaders do not allow a woman with her hair uncovered and her bare knees to be shown on the state-owned TV.”

The Iran expert Yücesoy noted that “Typically, movie scenes showing women in what is deemed revealing clothing are censored. But this would have been impossible when broadcasting Sunday’s match. The television censors were rattled by the presence of a female referee in shorts. Their solution was to cut away from the live action to views of London’s backstreets, which made a mockery of the game. At the end of the game, one of the commentators joked that he hoped the viewers enjoyed the geographic show.”

The founder of the My Stealthy Freedom campaign, Masih Alinejad, tweeted: “Censorship in Iran: business as usual!

This is not a joke. Iranian state TV cuts off parts of a football match more than 100 times because the assistant referee was a woman wearing shorts.”

Yücesoy wrote that “In 2019, the state TV canceled showing the game between Bayern Munich and Augsburg because a female referee was officiating. But in the Premier League game, there was little advance warning for the censors.”

He added that “It is no secret that women are treated as second class citizens in the Islamic Republic, where compulsory hijab rules are rigidly enforced. Now, even non-Iranians on television must be made to adhere to the country’s draconian laws.”

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, imposed a religious order – fatwa – that cartoons showing women and animated shows “must be depicted wearing a hijab,” Yücesoy said.

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post can exclusively report the reactions by many Iranian political prisoners to the reported extrajudicial killing of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari.

A source familiar with political prisoners in Evin prison told the Post that many prisoners “watched the IRIB [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting] news broadcast about it. Most prisoners rejected the narrative put forward on state TV that he killed someone.”

According to the source, “They ran a clip about him for at least 10 minutes trying to justify his killing but most people laughed at this and said it was bullsh*t.”

The source added that “There were quite a few political prisoners in Evin who had been rounded up for protesting like Navid in late 2019 or for objecting to the downing of the Ukraine plane. So, of course, they were outraged at his execution. It’s very sad.”
Evin prison in Tehran is notorious for its harsh conditions, including imposing torture on political prisoners.

Source » jpost

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