Saturday, 18 July 2015
05 December 2021
Kordaneh: Interview with Ardavan Roozbeh; a Journalist and Redactor of Radio Koocheh

«We have to be the First one who support human rights»

2010 April 16

Tahereh Khorami

Ardavan Roozbeh is a journalist and human rights activist who acted on human rights issue in Iran and the Middle East for many years seriously. He has majored in Journalism and worked in the field of press for nearly two decades.

Reporting and investigation on Social Pathology is the bases of his job as a journalist. He was the redactor of several publications. Before leaving from Iran, he was the redactor of a Social Pathological magazine called “Moror” which became scoreless by Iranian Culture Ministry. Roozbeh has acted about Social Pathological, minorities groups’ rights, and free exposition issues in the presses published outside of Iran intensely.

In 2009, he produced one of the best program named: “30 years of human rights results in Iran” in Radio Zamaneh. Recently he has established an Independent media named: Radio Koocheh in order to develop a creative media. In the Manifest of this Radio it has been stated that:

“Radio Koocheh wants to observe clear moral orientations professionally and human rights and freedom in utterance. According to this, it should be a way to establish a relation between active journalists, bloggers, and professional writers. This is the way toward fulfilling democracy in Persian countries, because Democracy is a basement for thinking and working at the framework of respecting social and cultural values of every nations or countries.”

Here is Kordaneh’s interview with Ardavan Roozbeh, the journalist in field of minorities group rights, human rights and the redactor of Radio Koocheh:

It is interesting for Kordaneh’s audiences that you introduce yourself and tell us when did you start journalism?

My name is Ardavan Roozbeh, journalist, 40. I have been working for Medias for nearly two decades. In the first time I had been a social service reporter of a radical newspaper that was the only available place for me then author of Youth Section in Khorasan Newspaper and a little while in Tus Newspaper when it had been started and being the redactor of some publications. After that, being in trail and bailing of the publications which I worked for them, then being a journalist in the field of minority religious and national groups and being the analyzer of Afghanistan issues and its developments. After that I worked for Radio Zamaneh for 4 years (form its establishment date till 2010) and now I am in Radio Koocheh.

You had been working for a radical newspaper, wasn’t any other opportunity at that time?

Actually we have to come back to the limited atmosphere of the last years of 1980s. All the publication was dominated by the government and some rare private publications were weak and limited. I wanted to write and take photo in society and hoped to change many things by writing.

In Mashhad, the city where I had worked in, there was not a publication except “Qods” and “Khorasan” in that moment. Hardly I started journalism in the atmosphere (Qoda Newspaper) that the criteria were evaluating the abilities. All was the relaters to “Astane Qods-e-Razavi” and may because of the reason that not a pivot or writer person was there, they adopted me although I wasn’t agree with their ideals.

But this acceptance was temporary. Because of preparing a report and a collection of photos of a hidden detention place special for mental disables and beggars where everyone include women and men lived in very bad mood together and there was a catastrophe occurred everyday and disabled girls were violated and always someone died, the redactor could not tolerate me and didn’t let me even to enter in Qods for just visiting my friends since I was called “Unqualified” journalist.

How do you evaluate journalism atmosphere in that time?

I believe that in limited and controlled atmosphere in that time since all the social activists and journalists are completely under control, they easily accused and paid too much, even for just a tiny movement. Although there was a little persons in security system who was open minded, but their number was too small.

Writing was charged. Taking photo was charged. Saying your voice was charged. Certainly the utters could not be loudly. Lack of proper connection basement and shortage of freedom and independence was a strict framework for free thoughts. The thoughts that are not intended to stand on opposition, but the regime caused that situation. You had to write what dictated. You had to take certain photo which dictated. The red lines were clear and limiting. In my opinion the worst time for journalism was that last years of 1980 in Iran.

You left Iran in 2000s. Wasn’t the journalism mood stricter than last decades?

The point is that while the Medias are developing which could gain a better chance for expressing themselves, the controlling system expanded itself too. The beneath layers which was unknown for the regime got a new shape as President Mohammad Khatami starts his job. This caused opposition thoughts and idea conflicts be shown but results in better evaluation for regime that introduced itself 8 years later.

In the 2nd round the atmosphere becomes clear for them and they used calculated ways. They do not extend the correspondents cards for they had changed the way of its issuing. Article no.16 refers to irregular publishing which represents elimination of newspapers moreover they hire some specials for article no.16 in press adjutancy of ministry of culture.

Cutting paper subside of independent press and paying it to parallel presses, establishing stratocracy because of the cognition that they had gained in the last 8 years and numberless bailing that no one was responsible for them, made a limited mood for everyone all together.

Because of the little numbers of journalists in 1980s the regime had put more pressure and everything was under control. But in 2000s, because of development of these groups and shifting the ways of communication and development of decentralized medias, no way left except explicit and group facing that actually causes limit acting for everyone.

It was something same for me. I had started this with Radio Zamaneh, which was a creative and moderate media and its headmaster has gathered journalist groups together. This media have got its place among the people very soon and could represent itself in every fields and I started my job with that radio in Iran as a produces. The topics of my reports were the rights of nation minorities like Kurds, Balooches, and Turks and also religious minorities who had violated.

Certainly; some threatening letters and behaviors told me serenely but indignantly to stop. In 2008, these threatening got worse. There were some letters for me and my family, and pursuits, even entering to my house which highlighted day after day as I publish some reports about destruction of Nematollahi dervish’s mosque in Qom and Borojerd and some reports from Qom city and Ballochestand and Kurdestan provinces.

The mood got worse till some persons in regime who listens to censure sometimes, involved in changing and replaced with others who had been muted for some years perforce.

In that moment, the Keyhan Newspaper sanctioned against me by published a report about the radio and the name of me. That caused the threatening into my family. Constrainedly; I escaped from Iran, maybe the time would be helping. But after that some Medias like “Ya Lesart” backed by Hezbollah, had stopped my carrier which was just my professional duties.

That means there is no way for returning back, right?

As everybody knows, the mood which all of us expected it to be tenuous wasn’t fulfilled and the process of 10th presidential election which was expected to bring the opportunity of working for journalists was not that expected. Here I am not pointing to the trustiness of the election for it is a widespread topic that cannot regarded in this interview. I mean the unintelligent behavior executed by the regime against the people: the intolerability about an opposite opinion and relate it to aliens and the other things which heard because of amateur reporters and the temerity of journalists. In this situation you will see the escape wave of Journalist toward abroad.

The activists who are waiting to be adopted as a refugee, unreasoned nabbing and the closure of free flow of media. I have never followed political flow creation or being an opposition but the mood has changed after June 2009. There is no longer an ear to listen in the regime. We have to follow the aim of freedom for media and writing for people of Iran and their rights.

Dose it means that Radio Koocheh is doing the act in another framework?

Certainly. According to the basic elements in interactions and reduction of broadcasting and publicity services, some other opportunities have been created. Before this happened, this facilities was bounded to super Medias and the other young Medias couldn’t even dream that they can work independently. Actually I get tired of going for getting permission or removing the newspaper bans. I have to spend money and work until the time that I had to go for explanation and wait for banning my publication.

But there is no worry about Radio Koocheh. The media could inform morally and with the observation of human rights precinct and it receives fine reception of audiences. A no oriented media, informing aimed for the fields of minorities and social and student’s activist. Fortunately although Radio Koocheh is very young, it has gained its audiences and has bilateral relation with them. Most of the articles are produced by people.

The people who inform radio Koocheh from a happened event voluntary, in order to be transferred to others.

Why you and your friends started Radio Koocheh, although you have been the most effective and active journalists and producers in Radio Zamaneh?

Talking about this needs some introduction. This goes back to the moment which I was studying media course in London, and Mahdi Jaami, the head of Radio Zamaneh suggest me to work there. I had known him from BBC and its preceding, even before it as we were working together in a publication. Mahdi Jaami has a rigor morality but he knows his job perfectly.

When someone understands what you are doing and what is your capabilities and could pave the way for you to reach your professional aims, you do not care about the other things. He made Radio Zamaneh something like that you are seeing it now. It was obviously impossible for those who came before Jaami, want to make a new media with old and uncreative ways. Due to his multilateral vision, Mahdi Jaami could gather everyone. Kurds, Turks, social activists, young journalists, and bloggers have established a media together which was unique.

After some disputing occurred in 2008 and the increase of miss led thoughts in its stuffs and even its board of directors and Mr. Jaami, caused the Radio’s misled. The omission of professional stuff, having military mood there and removing of work basement, cause Radio Zamaneh to downfall. It is natural for a professional journalist like me to get rid of these nude fighting. My friends and I always like to be in a free media, free of internal struggle but in that time Radio Zamaneh was no longer suitable for us.

Before I establish Radio Koocheh I had talked about it with board directors of the Radio and its stuff but I found that there was no logical behavior there. That Radio could deal with Jaami in a fair framework or could profit from him as a counselor, but there was no way for these believes.

Many of the team left the Radio. I thought there is no way left for me except being in Koocheh. In fact, Radio Koocheh is result of the intolerances dwells in the system and lack of managers’ attention of Radio Zamaneh.

What is the aim of Radio Koocheh?

Clearly we have stated in our Manifest that: “It is a free media in the field of thought, culture, society, art and news. Koocheh is based on a low cost media in a free political atmosphere for developing social relations and informing in order to giving more information to Persians globally, we’re doing this with the help of media tools such as picture and voice broadcasting and web-based texts.”

Also we have stated in another place that: “It is a bilateral media that its audiences are the producers. The Koocheh’s audiences are not bounded in special age or group. We are staying with our facilities alongside of our audiences. It is a multimedia for all Persians from India and Pakistan to Iran and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and for the other nations who dwell in those countries. Kurds, Turks, Balooches, Pashtos, Tajiks, Uzbeks who dwell in countries which belonged to a vast country before.

We are supporting the naturalized democracy in every nation for securing and tolerating thoughts in every dimension of society. We have to keep this in our mind that the regime is a part of society that its thoughts should be changed from its base.

Without government support, can we hope in an independent journalism and establishing a Radio?

I can believe in it now. Our opportunities have been exceeded. There is a better structure and it has been easy with the help of open source services like WordPress and context administration, so more limited financial source can handle it and I believe that these things are going to be better.

But we have to keep this in our mind that many of people and the persons who think about illuminating and informing are in favor of their beloved media. We have established Radio Koocheh with the help of people and with our independent way of thinking and now we believe that it is possible to establish a media independently without the governmental support.

After 4 years of working in Radio Zamaneh, does it support you as an activist who escapes out of Iran?

I believe that we have to criticize this abroad circulation cultural fault moreover to interiors’. The relations in domestic Medias that the idea of being insider or outsider exists, it is the same in abroad. I mean the diplomacy and the policy which are something more than free informing and public benefit.

As I said before a part of our problem is the subject of our social culture that governors make their identity by them. Certainly there is such a subject is seen with the presence of this tough idea in abroad. I know that many of Radio Zamaneh’s cohorts who nabbed or escaped out the country are not supported by that media but some others who did not put serious effort on that are well supported.

We have to find the base of this issue. Why do we prefer relation to collective wisdom? Even we do not observe human and social rights. The way is tough for us. In order to be successful, we have to think more than what we behave. Maybe the way to get our human rights and democracy begins from us.


«نوشته فوق می تواند نظر نویسنده باشد و الزامن نظر رادیو کوچه نیست»


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