To Light a Candle documentary film

Maziar Bahari’s 2014 documentary To Light a Candle, on the persecution of Iranian Baha’is, specifically the denial of their right to higher education and the creation of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, an “underground university” in Iran, was screened in almost 300 locations around the world.

To Light a Candle was the first English-language documentary to detail the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, and their peaceful form of resistance to this oppression, to such a wide and diverse audience. The film was also translated into at least four other languages.

The screenings attracted significant media coverage around the world and at least 60 local and regional media stories across the United States.

Street art for education equality

Thousands of young people in Iran, from the Baha'i religious minority, are barred from higher education because of their beliefs. In response we launched the Education Is Not A Crime project in 2015. Our campaign works with some of the world's best street artists. We produce murals, digital media and community workshops, linking different communities of struggle to uphold the universal right to education.

More than 40 murals have been painted in Sydney, Sao Paulo, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Madrid, London, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit, and Nashville.

Nineteen of these murals were painted in Harlem alone along with a six-month community outreach and education campaign.

The campaign’s social media following grew from zero to over 40,000 followers in less than a year.

Dozens of news articles and video packages, including in the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Quartz, FastComapny, and many other outlets, told the Education Is Not A Crime story, leading to at least 100,000,000 impressions.

A documentary film, Changing the World, One Wall at a Time, captures the issues behind the project, our approach, and how we engaged with the local communities.

Independent news and information for Iranian citizens

  • IranWire reaches an average of 6.5 million people per month through our web and social media platforms.

  • IranWire has approximately 120,000 unique visitors per month to its website.

  • IranWire’s YouTube channel has more than 14,000 subscribers and, since it was launched in 2013, over 1.9 million views

Citizen Journalism

IranWire mentors 20 or more citizen journalists inside Iran every month, assisting their reporting on local issues on such as human rights, governance, the environment, women's rights, and education and publishing their reporting on our site.

More than half of our mentored citizen journalists are from outside Tehran and roughly one-third are women.

Reporting by citizen journalists on IranWire reaches approximately 250,000 people per month across the web and social media.

Reporting Inside Iran's Prisons 

IranWire has worked with prisoners inside Iran's notorious Evin and Rajaei Shahr prisons and helped them to tell their own stories about prison life as citizen journalists. See for example: