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FEATURE

On the Subject of Censorship: BURN THIS BOOK





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Being a proponent of human rights and humanitarian subject matter of any kind, and in particular the reflections or influence of these tenets in the media--whether in literature, journalism, photojournalism, art, film, television, new and social media and beyond--these last weeks in Iran have been inordinately important, even despite the near-tabloid coverage of Michael Jackson’s death. Michael Jackson did touch may people, and for important reasons, and I by no means disparage that. But what I am concerned about is that other important issues are being ignored because of it.

Something that has been truly evident by anything I have written in past months has been the importance of certain freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and now, as evidenced by the events in Iran following their elections, freedom both of assembly and the importance of fair and free elections.

Those who saw the clip which has become viral of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman shot to death in the streets of Tehran for demonstrating against the election results, perhaps can feel the visceral sense of what it must have meant to be one of those demonstrators, feeling first-hand the heart of the adage we as Americans have come to take for granted: freedom isn't free. As those who have demonstrated are attesting, and something, again, which we may have forgotten, there are times when it demands struggle and sacrifice. Continued...

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