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RFE/RL will hold the panel discussion, Smashing The Firewall: Reporting In Iran, at the renowned digital festival SXSW 2018 in Austin, Texas, USA, on March 12, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (CST), 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (EST), 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm (CET). The talk will be live-streamed on our Twitter: @RFERLPress

Meet the speakers

Fred Petrossians

Online Editor in Chief, RFE/RL Radio Farda

Fred Petrossians is online editor in chief of Radio Farda. He co-edited and co-wrote “Hope, Votes and Bullets”(2010) on Iranian protest movements based on citizen media. He is co-founder of the award-winning March 18 Movement to raise awareness about bloggers’ safety around the world. Petrossians was involved with leading digital projects such as Harvard Global Voices. He has been an international speaker on civil society and citizen media in media and academic centers such as Yale University.

Anastasia Kolobrodova

Project Officer, RFE/RL

Anastasia Kolobrodova works on special projects – including communications, strategy, and digital security – at RFE/RL, a news organization which reports in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. Anastasia holds master’s degrees in international and public relations from Syracuse University’s public diplomacy program.

Simin Kargar​

Research Affiliate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Simin Kargar is a human rights lawyer and a research affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society where she focuses on the interrelations of technology and human rights. Kargar studies harmful speech online, gender-based violence and technology, and the interplays of social media, power and propaganda. In addition, Kargar investigates how discourses of geopolitical issues are created and disseminated through social media in the Middle East. Simin has published research analyzing the formation of online movements that led to changes in policies, or to creating tangible social impact.

Amir Rashidi

Internet Security and Digital Rights Researcher, Center for Human Rights in Iran

Amir Rashidi is the internet security and digital rights researcher at the Center for Human Rights in Iran, where he conducts in-depth research, data collection and analysis on internet security and access in Iran, internet policy and infrastructure, and the tools and methods of state-sponsored censorship and hacking. Amir is frequently interviewed on internet freedom issues by international and Farsi-language media and provides detailed briefings to the media, to members of the NGO internet freedom community and to leading private sector companies. Amir was a women’s and students’ rights activist in Iran prior to the 2009 crackdown.

What to expect from the panel discussion​

Fred Petrossians, online editor in chief of Radio Farda (RFE/RL's Iranian Service), paints a picture of the issues to be addressed by our panelists.

Fred Petrossian on RFE/RL's panel discussion entry to SXSW
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Stay posted on SXSW

One Minute With...Niusha Bograhti

Niusha Bograhti, Editor in Chief of Radio Farda, speaks about the recent protests in Iran and the challenges caused by the ban on social media in the country.

One Minute With Niusha Boghrati
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