We do not work alone and are not in competition with each other.
We share our knowledge with network members.
At the start of each investigation, we reflect on and discuss how we can tell a story in a state-of-the-art way using multimedia. We include each other in what we are working on.
We constantly strive to be better.
If necessary, we express criticism openly, candidly, and early. At the same time, we remain cooperative and do not hold grudges.
We take advantage of opportunities for additional training and share our knowledge.
II. Identifying Topics
Our focus is on those topics that have particular relevance to the lives of our readers.
Our investigations aim to disclose problematic structures rather than publish unrelated scoops. Our streams are not incident-based but systems oriented.
We want to astonish readers with our selected topics and publications.
III. Sources, Whistle-blowers, Investigations
We identify ourselves to our interlocutors as stewards from IDN and only conduct investigations undercover in exceptional cases.
Our informants can always depend on the assurances we make to them.
We only reveal the identities of our confidential sources – including within the IDN editorial team – with the source’s consent.
If such consent does not exist, an open and critical debate about the reliability and trustworthiness of the source and the potential risks of exploitation by the source must be had without revealing the source’s identity.
We protect our sources to the best of our ability and judgment.
As IDN stewards, we accept no compensation or other material benefits.
IDN stewards do not conduct public relations.
We construct working hypotheses but conduct our investigations without prejudice or set expectations.
We involve trusted lawyers in the investigative process early on.
Uninvolved third parties do not receive information about our investigations.
We speak openly with each other about issues.
We strive to give our work process maximum transparency and regularly publish investigation protocols.
We are journalistic enlighteners; we go straight to the heart of the problems and are skeptical of those in power.
We publish according to the motto: “Be first. But first, be sure.”
We make the respective basis of a factual claim as transparent as possible to our readers.
We publish the documents and data that inform our contributions as much as possible.
We only publish information that meets at least one of the following criteria:
A written document is in our possession which originates from a credible source.
A record is in our possession from credible sources we have analyzed.
Information in our possession from a person who is credible and has evident expertise in the respective topic
If we decide in an exceptional case to not name the identity of an individual source to our readers and users, the following conditions must be met:
The person explicitly insists on protecting their identity, and this desire is comprehensible to outsiders.
We have vigorously – but unsuccessfully – attempted to find an alternative source for the same information which can be quoted by name.
A second anonymous person can independently confirm the information of the first anonymous source to be quoted.
We may disclose the milieu or the employer of at least one of the two anonymous sources.
In sensitive cases regarding press law, we obtain an affidavit from the quoted anonymous source before publication.
At a minimum, four principles must be adhered to for each of our publications: Each contributor is required to have their piece rigorously checked for content and style by IDN colleagues.
We will not conceal information from our readers that may contradict our assessments or conclusions.
Should any of our contributions or parts of them be erroneous, despite the utmost care and diligence, we will make a public and self-critical acknowledgement, apologize, and correct the errors.
V. Benefactors and Donors
Preliminary remarks on the acceptance of donations:
Our greatest asset is our independence and our credibility.
We will be viewed as credible when we also hold ourselves to the same standards we critically apply to others.
We recognize that the public’s ethical and moral standards are much higher for a not-for-profit undertaking like ours than for commercial media.
We publicly disclose donations and contributions over $1000, along with their respective donors and contributors, promptly. We do not accept grants and donations from sponsors who do not agree to these conditions. Anonymous contributions are publicly disclosed as such.
Under no circumstances can sponsors influence editorial content, investigations, or any other decisions the IDN editorial team and its contributors take.
We reserve the right to refuse donations from sponsors whose ethical principles conflict with ours.
We disclose potential conflicts of interest between donors’ and IDN or editors’ work. If we detect conflicts of interest, individual IDN employees may be excluded from researching a specific project, or the editorial team of IDN may abandon entire investigations. Such actions will also always be publicly disclosed.
VI. Media Partners
We are generally interested in publishing our investigations in cooperation with other media outlets.
Exclusive media partners are granted access to our primary sources for fact-checking purposes. This may only occur under the condition that sources who wish to remain anonymous must remain anonymous vis-à-vis our exclusive media partners; they may not face any risk of exposure.
Other media may under no circumstances edit our texts in a way that distorts their meaning. We format our texts (incl. long pieces) at least once to contributions of 100 lines.
IDN is only liable for the content of the publications of our authors on our website or in our print products (journals, magazines, books). Any risk in press law relating to the acquisition of IDN stories via other media also lies with said media, as in the case of the work of freelance writers.
VII. Our Self-concept
We do not see our work as competing with, but rather as a supplement to, the work of established media outlets.
We do not engage in media bashing.
We are an independent, nonprofit, non-religious, non-partisan, non-ideological and decentralized organization focusing on the entire Iranian diaspora. We are dedicated to society as a whole, not individual, ideological, partisan, and commercial interests.
We have an educational mission: We aim to acquire and share knowledge.
We are convinced that progressive journalism is essential to a healthy democracy and, therefore,
has an essential enlightening function,
serves the public interest as a tool of popular enlightenment,
And should accordingly be perceived and understood as public goods, which are just as worthy of support as educational institutions, museums, theatres etc.
VIII. Advisory and Supervisory Boards
– Advisory Board
The Advisory Board advises the management team with a view to the ethical compatibility of the activities of IDN with good environmental, social, and governance practices.
Specific instructions do not bind the members of the advisory board. They represent their personal beliefs and are subject only to their conscience.
If there is concern over a conflict of interest, the member in question must notify the chair or deputies to discuss the issue. If the discussion does not reach a consensus, the advisory board will decide in the absence of the person in question on their participation in the relevant activities and decision-making process.
The advisory board is to be informed by management regularly, but no less than once a calendar quarter, about the primary network developments and programs and any significant substantive events.
The advisory board will convene at least once a year. It may, at any time, by way of resolution, demand information and reports from management on all matters relating to the organization’s substantive work since this does not bear on the protection of informants.
The advisory board consists of at least one chair and two deputies. The chair provides all statements of the advisory board or by one of their deputies.
Network collectives first appoint the advisory board. Upon the departure of a member, collectives nominate a new member in coordination with the remaining members of the advisory board.
Members of the advisory board are appointed to three-year terms. Repeat appointments are allowed.
Decisions of the advisory board shall be taken in board meetings. Besides meetings, decisions can also be taken in writing and via conference calls. The chair exercises the convening and chairing of the advisory board meetings or, should the chair be otherwise hindered, by one of their deputies in writing or text form with a notice period of 14 days. The management attends the advisory board meetings without voting rights, if and to the extent to which the board has not decided otherwise. The advisory board has a quorum if at least half of its members are present at the meeting, including the chair and one of their deputies or, in the event of the chair’s absence, their two deputies. In the case of a vote, at least half of the advisory board members must participate, including the chair and one of their deputies or, in the event of the chair’s absence, their two deputies. Decisions by vote require a simple majority. Each advisory board member has one vote; in case of a tie, the chair shall cast the deciding vote.
The meetings of the advisory board are not public. Its deliberations are confidential. Where appropriate, only the results of the meeting shall be reported, not the positions represented by the individual board members.
The decisions of the advisory board are to be entered into the meeting’s minutes. The minutes shall be sent to the members of the advisory board, the members of the supervisory board, the management, and collectives within a period of four weeks.
– Supervisory Board
The supervisory board oversees the management of IDN. It may, at any time, view the organization’s accounts and records. It can also appoint independent experts for auditory and reporting purposes.
The supervisory board has three members: a chair and two deputies.
It meets at least twice a year. It is informed quarterly.
Collectives appoint the supervisory board. Upon the departure of a supervisory board member, collectives nominate a new member in coordination with the remaining supervisory board members.
Supervisory board members are appointed to three-year terms.
The decisions of the supervisory board are to be entered into the meeting’s minutes.
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Epilepsy Safe Mode
Dampens color and removes blinks
This mode enables people with epilepsy to use the website safely by eliminating the risk of seizures that result from flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
Visually Impaired Mode
Improves website's visuals
This mode adjusts the website for the convenience of users with visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.
Cognitive Disability Mode
Helps to focus on specific content
This mode provides different assistive options to help users with cognitive impairments such as Dyslexia, Autism, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements of the website more easily.
ADHD Friendly Mode
Reduces distractions and improve focus
This mode helps users with ADHD and Neurodevelopmental disorders to read, browse, and focus on the main website elements more easily while significantly reducing distractions.
Allows using the site with your screen-reader
This mode configures the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is software for blind users that is installed on a computer and smartphone, and websites must be compatible with it.
Visually Pleasing Experience
Adjust Text Colors
Adjust Title Colors
Adjust Background Colors
Big Dark Cursor
Big Light Cursor
March 29, 2023
We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone, and are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience,
regardless of circumstance and ability.
To fulfill this, we aim to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level.
These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible
to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific
disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
Additionally, the website utilizes an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML,
adapts Its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by the blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
If you’ve found a malfunction or have ideas for improvement, we’ll be happy to hear from you. You can reach out to the website’s operators by using the following email
Screen-reader and keyboard navigation
Our website implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various different behavioral changes, to ensure blind users visiting with
screen-readers are able to read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters your site, they immediately receive
a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate your site effectively. Here’s how our website covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements,
alongside console screenshots of code examples:
Screen-reader optimization: we run a background process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website.
In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels;
descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups),
and others. Additionally, the background process scans all of the website’s images and provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag
for images that are not described. It will also extract texts that are embedded within the image, using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology.
To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on
as soon as they enter the website.
These adjustments are compatible with all popular screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA.
Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Disability profiles supported in our website
Epilepsy Safe Mode: this profile enables people with epilepsy to use the website safely by eliminating the risk of seizures that result from flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
Visually Impaired Mode: this mode adjusts the website for the convenience of users with visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.
Cognitive Disability Mode: this mode provides different assistive options to help users with cognitive impairments such as Dyslexia, Autism, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements of the website more easily.
ADHD Friendly Mode: this mode helps users with ADHD and Neurodevelopmental disorders to read, browse, and focus on the main website elements more easily while significantly reducing distractions.
Blindness Mode: this mode configures the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is software for blind users that is installed on a computer and smartphone, and websites must be compatible with it.
Keyboard Navigation Profile (Motor-Impaired): this profile enables motor-impaired persons to operate the website using the keyboard Tab, Shift+Tab, and the Enter keys. Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Additional UI, design, and readability adjustments
Font adjustments – users, can increase and decrease its size, change its family (type), adjust the spacing, alignment, line height, and more.
Color adjustments – users can select various color contrast profiles such as light, dark, inverted, and monochrome. Additionally, users can swap color schemes of titles, texts, and backgrounds, with over 7 different coloring options.
Animations – epileptic users can stop all running animations with the click of a button. Animations controlled by the interface include videos, GIFs, and CSS flashing transitions.
Content highlighting – users can choose to emphasize important elements such as links and titles. They can also choose to highlight focused or hovered elements only.
Audio muting – users with hearing devices may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing. This option lets users mute the entire website instantly.
Cognitive disorders – we utilize a search engine that is linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allowing people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, slang, and others.
Additional functions – we provide users the option to change cursor color and size, use a printing mode, enable a virtual keyboard, and many other functions.
Browser and assistive technology compatibility
We aim to support the widest array of browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major systems that comprise over 95% of the user market share including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge, JAWS and NVDA (screen readers), both for Windows and for MAC users.
Notes, comments, and feedback
Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the website to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. Still, we are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating and improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements. For any assistance, please reach out to