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IranAli Khamenei
Supreme Guide

(JPEG) Ayatollah Khamenei has led the country since the death in 1989 of the Islamic republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, and has strengthened the ultra-conservative policies of his predecessor. He controls Iran’s main political institutions and the national broadcasting network and is consulted on the appointment of the minister of culture and Islamic guidance, who was responsible for the arrest of most of the journalists detained in 2006. Khamenei regularly accuses the press of being used by foreign elements. More than 50 journalists were arrested in 2007 and a dozen media outlets were temporarily suspended, but Khamenei insists that local journalists are very free to speak out. “The fact that some media outlets can freely criticise the government and the regime is a clear indication that freedom of expression exists, even if the country pays no attention to these criticisms,” he said recently.

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Predators
There are instigators and powerful people behind press freedom violations whose responsibility is not always apparent. Whether presidents, ministers, chiefs of staff, religious leaders or the heads of armed groups, these predators of press freedom have the power to censor, imprison, kidnap, torture and, in the worst cases, murder journalists. To better expose them, Reporters Without Borders has produced these portraits.

Armed Islamist groups
Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan
Ilham Aliev
Azerbaijan
Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus
Than Shwe
Burma
Hu Jintao
China
Diego Fernando Murillo Bejarano
Colombia
FARC
Colombia
Raúl Castro
Cuba
Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Equatorial Guinea
Issaias Afeworki
Eritrea
Yahya Jammeh
Gambia
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran
Israeli Defence Forces
Israel
Nursultan Nazarbayev
Kazakhstan
Choummaly Sayasone
Laos
Muammar Gaddafi
Libya
Star Force Police
Maldives
Drug cartels
Mexico
Armed groups
Nepal
State Security Service (SSS)
Nigeria
Kim Jong-il
North Korea
The Executive Force
Palestinian territories, Gaza Strip
Palestinian Security Forces
Palestinian Territories, West Bank
Vladimir Putin
Russia
Paul Kagame
Rwanda
Abdallah Ibn al-Saud
Saudi Arabia
Mohamed Dhere and Mohamed Warsame Darwish
Somalia
Al-Shabaab
Somalia
ETA
Spain
Gotabhaya Rajapakse, Defence secretary
Sri Lanka
Bashar el-Assad
Syria
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
Tunisia
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmenistan
Islam Karimov
Uzbekistan
Nong Duc Manh
Vietnam
Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe