In July 2003, Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and murdered by Iranian security agents after she attempted to report on the growing opposition movement in Iran. FRONTLINE/World correspondent Jane Kokan risks her personal safety to follow in Kazemi's footsteps, traveling undercover to Iran to investigate the clerical regime's latest crackdown on students, journalists and dissidents. "I want to find out what happened to [Kazemi]," says Kokan, "and the story she died trying to tell."
Iran is a theocratic republic ruled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and a council of mullahs, who control the prisons, courts and security forces. Students and dissidents pushing for change want the mullahs out of power and replaced with a more democratic government. But the Islamic regime has come down hard on political opponents, deploying security forces and packs of Bassijis, Islamic vigilantes, against dissidents. Ten Iranian journalists are currently jailed for writing critically about the regime, and foreign journalists are seriously restricted in Iran. Kokan's journey starts in London, where she meets members of the Iranian diaspora. They share with her their personal stories, as well as amateur videos and other evidence they've smuggled out of Iran documenting attacks against students and dissidents. At a peaceful demonstration at the Iranian Embassy in London, Kokan meets a young leader of the Independent Student Movement, Iman Samizadez. "I'm looking for [a] free Iran, without religion," Samizadez tells Kokan. "People, they can have religion as a private thing. But in a political way, we are looking for a free country." Read More.
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