November 30, 2004

Bloggers Jailed in Iran

There are reasons why I worry about Iran having a Nuclear bomb and not Israel, Pakistan and not France (yes, France), or North Korea and not, say, Sweden. Here is an an example from Reporters Without Borders via Michelle Malkin:

Reporters Without Borders has strongly protested against the Iran's relentless efforts to stifle free expression online after the arrest of five webloggers in less than two months, the latest on 28 November 2004.

"The government is now attacking blogs, the last bastion of freedom on a network that is experiencing ever tighter control," said the worldwide press freedom organisation. "At the same time, an Iranian delegate is sitting on a UN-created working group on Internet governance. The international community should condemn this masquerade," it added.

Three webloggers identified only by their first names were arrested on 29 October 2004. They were : Dariush, Omid, and Payvand.

Mojtaba Saminejad was arrested at the beginning of November for speaking out against the arrest of his three colleagues in his blog.

Farid Modaressi, a member of the student organisation the Office to Consolidate Unity, was arrested on 28 November on the order of the prosecutor's office in the city of Qom. He had posted a number of articles on his weblog exposing persistent harassment in the city by members of the conservative movement. Two of his brothers were reportedly arrested two days earlier and are apparently still being held.

Scott at Slantpoint points to the Editor: Myself blog for background and commentary including this post on why blogs provide a space for public discourse otherwise closed under the clerical regime:
It's in this context that Internet, and blogs in particular, are so much important in Iran today: They are providing a relatively safe space for a public discourse that the regime has effectively prevented during the past couple of years by shutting down opposition parties and newspapers, and intimidating journalists, and activists.

While the smarter divisions of the regime have realized the dangers of this remaining open space and desperately trying to close it, the world seems to be ignorant about this great Achilles'' heel of the Iranian regime.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:23 PM | Comments |