Posts tagged “Iran”

Derakhshan case: When keeping quiet does not work

“The severity of the nearly 20-year jail sentence handed down to veteran Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, left, has shocked many exiled Iranian journalists and bloggers with whom I’ve spoken. It’s also reinforced their belief that the best way to help jailed colleagues is not through quiet diplomacy but by making a lot of noise.

Derakhshan’s case made headlines last month when human rights groups reported that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for the writer, dubbed the “blogfather” of Farsi blogging, on a raft of antistate charges. In the end, a Revolutionary Court sentenced the Iranian-Canadian dual national to nineteen and a half years in prison. His family and lawyer learned of the verdict through the news media.”

From Committee to Protect Journalists

In Sign of Discord, Iran Blocks Web Sites of Some Clerics

“TEHRAN, Iran — The web sites of two senior clerics have been blocked by government censors, a possible sign of a hardening political divide at the highest level of Iran’s religious establishment.

The web sites of the clerics, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei and Grand Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat-Zanjani, who are both “sources of emulation,” the highest clerical rank in Shiite Islam, were first reported blocked by news sites linked with Iran’s political opposition movement on Sunday. The official site of a third top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali-Mohammad Dastgheib, was reported blocked early last month.

While there was no official announcement that the sites had been blocked, Internet users who attempted to access them on Monday were automatically redirected to a standard Iranian government filtering page which offers links to government-authorized web sites such as marriage advice sites, state-run news services and the official web site of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

From The New York Times

Longest-ever sentence for Iranian blogger – 19 and a half years

“Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the extremely long jail sentence that has just been passed on Iranian blogger and journalist Hossein Derakhshan. He has been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison followed by a five-year ban on political and journalistic activities. He has also been fined the equivalent of more than 30,000 euros.

“Such a long jail term has never before been imposed on a blogger in Iran and is indicative of a desire to make an example out of Derakhshan,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.”

From Reporters Sans Frontieres

Iran Considers Death Penalty for Blogger, Family Says

“Updated | 4:09 p.m. Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian-Canadian blogger who was arrested after he returned to Iran nearly two years ago, could be sentenced to death by a court in Tehran, according to his family.

Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American journalist, reported on Monday that a member of the detained blogger’s family ‘has confirmed to me that he is awaiting a sentence in his trial in Tehran, and that the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.'”

From The New York Times

Toronto-based blogger faces execution in Iran

The Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein “Hoder” Derakhshan is infamous for his seminal role in catapulting the Iranian online blogging community. The controversial online dissenter lived and studied in Toronto, Canada for eight years before returning to Iran in 2008. Upon his arrival in Iran, Derakhshan was arrested. This week, family and friends of Derahkhsan say that Iranian prosecutors are requesting his execution.

In this article from The Toronto Star, Professor Ron Deibert is interviewed regarding Derahkshan and his impact on “the rights of bloggers and the threats they face.”

From The Toronto Star

CBC interviews Professor Deibert regarding Nokia Lawsuit

Citizen Lab Director Professor Ron Deibert was interviewed by CBC’s The Current on September 17 regarding Isa Saharkhiz’s lawsuit against Nokia Siemens Networks and the broader implications of cyber espionage.

Listen to the interview and panel discussion here from CBC Radio.

Iranian activist sues telecoms firm over ‘spying system’

An imprisoned Iranian activist is suing Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) over allegations that the telecommunications company provided the Islamic regime with a monitoring system it used to spy on the opposition Green movement.

Isa Saharkhiz, a prominent journalist and political figure, was arrested after last summer’s disputed presidential election.

Saharkhiz, who is still in detention, discovered during his interrogation in Tehran’s Evin prison that his whereabouts were revealed when security officials listened in to his mobile phone conversations using technology NSN allegedly sold to Iran, his son Mehdi told the Guardian.

From The Guardian

Extensive Internet filtering in Iran to disrupt free flow of information

“NCRI – The clerical regime has carried out extensive filtering of websites in fear of people accessing information on the Internet. According to state-run media, the head of the Telecommunication infracture company , Khosravi, said, “In accordance with Article 21 of cyber crimes, a broad filtering mechanism has been defined for all service providers.”

US sanctions ban companies from selling filtering technology to the clerical regime.”

From The National Council of Resistance of Iran

Trial of Iran’s ‘Blogfather’ Begins in Tehran

“More than a year and a half after he was arrested in Tehran, Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian-Canadian blogger also known as Hoder, was put on trial on Wednesday, according to Iranian news reports and statements by his family posted online.

According to Golnaz Esfandiari, who blogs for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the American-financed news organization:

Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency reports that the trial of controversial blogger Hossein Derakhshan, known as Iran’s “Blogfather” for helping to popularize blogging in the Islamic republic, began in Tehran on June 23.”

From The New York Times

Tehran’s Lost Connection

During last year’s election turmoil in Tehran, the Iranian regime’s biggest foe often seemed to be 21st-century technology. While the regime cracked down on supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi — the so-called Green Movement — with decidedly pre-Web 2.0 tools like truncheons and tear gas, protesters used Twitter, YouTube, and other Web-based applications to publicize their cause, and the regime’s brutal response, to the rest of the world.

A year later, however, Iranian dissidents’ techno-euphoria is mostly a thing of the past. The regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) declared victory over the opposition this February, after the Green Movement’s call for massive demonstrations to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution were effectively blocked by the regime’s nationwide shutdown of both Internet and cell-phone access. The Greens, deprived of communications in a society where mass media are under complete state control, suffered a lackluster turnout, prompting some Iran watchers in Washington to (prematurely) declare the movement dead.

From Foreign Policy