Segments in this Video

We are Journalists: Introduction (04:04)


It is forbidden to kill anyone on Ashoura. Nehdi Farhadi Rad, an innocent demonstrator, was killed. Ahmad Jalali Farahani and his collegues were afraid to write about his murder; 41 days later, Farahani was arrested.

Ahmad Jalali Farahani (02:58)

Farahani works for Persian media writing, analyzing, and creating documentaries about current events and people. Iran is a country with rich traditions.

Increased Censorship (02:08)

After Ahmadinejad became president, censorship increased. At a function, Farahani's camera is turned away. Rahab Ali Mazroui discusses how the president's rise to power restricted the newspaper's ability to report accurately.

Tehran Emrooz (02:53)

The newspaper was suspended indefinitely. Rumors circulate it was because of an article criticizing Ahmadinejad's policies or a picture published offending the president. The editor hopes the newspaper will reopen in a couple of days.

Journalism Difficulties (02:06)

Reporters are not guaranteed a position at a newspaper, because it could get banned at any time. One reporter's son keeps asking his father why he does not own a shop instead. Another recalls how a friend was out of work for a year after his newspaper was suspended.

Tehran Emrooz Banned (02:39)

Reporters discuss what professions they will learn now that they are unemployed. One recalls how a friend had to pay back money to the newspaper when it was banned.

Condemning Ahmadinejad (03:22)

Farahani began to criticize the government's social policies, blogged about illegal police actions, and published photographs of police brutality. The government shut down his blog and fired him. He protested his dismissal with the Association of Iranian Journalists.

Association of Iranian Journalists (03:58)

The organization asked constituents to show support for all journalists at the next election. Reporters discuss how they do not have a pension, insurance, or fringe benefits. Many journalists have been jailed for their articles.

Election Day (02:37)

Over 1,000 journalists voted in the Association of Iranian Journalists election. Ahmadinejad ceased trying to shut down the organization. One reporter was jailed for two years for "cooperating with foreign countries."

Mir-Houssein Mousavi (02:19)

Merchants sell goods in the village square. Mousavi's candidacy in 2009 reignited hope for the reformists and journalists. Listen to his political platform.

Mousavi's Campaign (02:49)

Reformists celebrate Mousavi's candidacy and rally for his victory. Mohammad Reza Kalani explains how citizens debated political issues in public for the first time during this campaign process.

Voters take to the Streets (02:50)

Citizens discuss why they are voting for a particular candidate. Ahmandinejad's supporters call Mousavi a liar and thief. Mousavi's champions call for reform.

Green Movement (03:03)

Mousavi supporters campaigned against Ahmandinejad and his godfather, Ali Khamenei. Election fraud rumors begin to circulate. The Green Movement chants about fraud at political rallies.

Election Day Drama (02:11)

Journalists discovered that millions of extra ballots were generated. The government closed down the Short Message System. Voting stations closed early and security forces break up the protests.

Mousavi was Victorious? (02:58)

Journalists recall the day of the election. Riot police began to gather within the city of Tehran, the Interior Ministry refused to meet with Mousavi, and ballot-boxes were counted in secrecy under Ahmadinejad's control.

Journalists Become Suspicious (02:39)

Mousavi announces that he is the definite winner and the results will be published. International journalists were sent out of the Interior Ministry and told to return the next day. Reporters describe when they realized a coup d'etat was occurring.

Ahmadinejad Declared Victor (02:43)

Ahmadinejad received 24.5 million votes. Supporters celebrate and reformists commiserate in private. A silent demonstration showed solidarity for the Green Movement.

Riots Ensued (04:19)

Watch footage of police brutality during the subsequent protests. The government started censoring all newspapers. Farahani created a silent protest by refusing to use the word "president" and "Ahmadinejad" together.

Government Censoring Journalists (02:07)

A week after the election, 40 reporters were jailed. Reiza Moini discusses how Alireza Egtekhari was killed without cause. Journalists were imprisoned for reporting police brutality and supporting the Green Movement.

Reporters Captured (03:44)

Reporters discuss how they hid to evade capture. Other journalists tell stories of torture, execution, and rape while imprisoned. Famaz, Farzanne's daughter, recounts the day her mother was arrested by the police.

Torture in Jail (03:56)

Journalists recall how prison guards tortured them and made them admit guilt. The day after the election, security forces closed down the Association of Iranian Journalists. Famaz needed to move to another city.

Murder on Ashoura (02:47)

Security forces killed a protestor; Farahani and his colleagues were afraid to write about it. Farahani was arrested 41 days later and sent to Evin prison. His daughter recalls his behavior after his release.

Inside Evin Prison (02:42)

Prisoners recount how they passed the time while in solitary confinement; 56 journalists are still imprisoned. Ami Hosein Fotoohi discusses sharing a cell with Farahani.

Released from Prison (03:35)

Journalists describe how they lived in fear of security forces arresting them again. Sadeq Saba explains how the government threatened his family to make him comply with the regime. Farahani tried to make a movie about caviar, but the police stole his camera, broke his finger, and beat him.

Constant Harassment and Threats (03:31)

Friends were afraid to contact Farahani and his family. Expatriate journalists discuss when they decided to leave Iran and what they abandoned.

Birthday Celebration (03:40)

Farahani's daughter recounts when the family decided to leave Iran. Journalists describe reporting in Iran. When Hassan Rouhani succeeded Ahmandinejad, he promised to release political reporters and give more freedom of expression, but the bans on newspapers and websites continue.

Credits: We Are Journalists (05:08)

Credits: We Are Journalists

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

We Are Journalists

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



How far would you go for freedom of expression? Would you risk losing your job? Your family? Your life? Suffocated by censorship and under constant threat of reprisal, there is always the chance that the next sentence they write could be the start of a confession in a regime prison. Filmed from the inside over the last decade, this is a window onto the corruption and brutality of the Ahmadinejad years, and their enduring legacy of silence.

Length: 86 minutes

Item#: BVL118403

ISBN: 978-1-63521-507-6

Copyright date: ©2014

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.