The Associated Press carries a report on the state of the Iranian blogosphere, covered in Forbes and other mainstream media outlets today. The censorship carried out there, it reports, has become worse, though it remains in second place to Red China.
An Iranian Canadian blogger was asked to sign an apology when he went to Iran for his blog writings—and he was one of the lucky ones. One that AP mentions is in jail with a three-year sentence (reduced from 14), ‘arrested and charged with insulting the country's leader, collaborating with the enemy, writing propaganda against the Islamic state and encouraging people to jeopardize national security.’ Arash Sigarchi still faces additional charges of ‘insulting the leader and writing propaganda,’ for which he might get more jail time.
Yet the majority of Iranian bloggers aren’t even political. In fact, they are just like us:
The most common issues are cultural, social and sexual. Blogs also are a good place to chat in a society where young men and women cannot openly date. There are blogs that discuss women’s issues, and ones that deal with art and photography.
The best thing we can do is to show our support for our Iranian virtual neighbours and pay them a visit. In case some day, there are no more Iranian blogs to read, except for those that the government has controlled.
Del.icio.us tags: Iran | bloggers | blogosphere | censorship Posted by Jack Yan, 22:39
Thanks for the heads up Jack. I wonder if Iran will continue to crack down even faster now that the UN has passed that security counsel resolution today.
Update: on the same day, Randy Thomas blogs about the jailing of Chinese blogger Hao Wu, who was posting till February 22 when he was dragged off by Red Chinese authorities, arrested without charge. Blogging and Mr Wu’s sexual orientation could mean quite severe persecution in Red China. Mr Wu is also apparently Christian, according to one blogger, which may not work in his favour politically, either.
Hi Randy: I didn’t see your comment there as I was too busy writing that update. I can bet that Iran will step up its crackdown with that news. I had better read the resolution now so I know what we might be dealing with—thank you for letting me know.
You are welcome Jack. I haven't read the resolution but from what I understand they gave Iran one month to stop their Uranium enrichment program.
I have found the news release from the Security Council—thank you, Randy. I haven’t found the resolution at the ofﬁcial site but maybe they haven’t updated yet.
Jack, thanks for this post. How very unfortunate for Iranian's youth who are so thirsty for connections to the rest of the world. I will most certainly make time to visit Iranian blogs. Iran is very special to me as I spent time there in 1976 and 1978. The country's politics continue to be heartwrenching to me and my step-mother's family, all Assyrians from Iran.
Hi Michelle: thank you for your thoughtful words. I have Assyrian and Persian friends, though I have not been to their homeland. It sounds like a beautiful place from what they tell me; like so many, we have to append ‘shame about their government’ on the end of those words.
It must have been eye-opening to have been there during the days of empire. I’d love to learn more.
Maybe the leaders in Iran can work out an arrangement with Google to filter out ‘the bad parts’ of things they just don’t like. Google’s getting really good at it.
You never know, MTLB. Some of the censoring software Iran has in place has been supplied by US ﬁrms.Post a Comment
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