First They Came for the Journalists. . .

Continuing the latest crackdown on journalists that began on January 26, Iranian officials banned three publications in Tehran today and arrested three more journalists this week. Since January 26, twenty journalists have been arrested in Iran.

“Our aim is to prevent the emergence of a sedition prior to the elections,” Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said at a meeting of the Isfahan Friday Imams on Monday, March 4.

The title of this cartoon is taken from a famous statement attributed to German Pastor Martin Niemöller about the escalation of repression in Nazi Germany. While there are many versions of the statement, the most commonly known is as follows:

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari used the last line of this statement as the title of his 2011 bestselling memoir, Then They Came For Me, which American comedian Jon Stewart will be making into a film this summer.