2005-01-24

Iran geht weiter gegen Blogger vor

--- Die LA Times hat mal wieder einen Report �ber die Leiden iranischer Blogger: The criminal seems younger than his 25 years. He is the quiet type, shy and lanky, peering solemnly through octagonal glasses. He has no weapons, not in the traditional sense. His name is Hanif Mazroui, and the tools of his crime are a handful of ideas and skinny fingers flying over the keyboard. He is one of about 20 Iranian Web loggers and journalists who have been arrested and jailed in recent months. Government prosecutors call Mazroui a violator of national security and an inciter of unrest. If you ask the nation's conservative mullahs, he's an acid eating away at the fabric of the Islamic revolution. He has done time in solitary confinement, and reportedly weathered death threats from judiciary officials. Asked about his time in prison, Mazroui dropped his chin, studied his shoes and said, "I prefer not to talk about it." ... After toiling for years to silence dissent within the Iranian republic, the mullahs have turned their war against free press to the last reserve of open political debate: the Internet. Since the summer, Iran's Web loggers, or bloggers, and online journalists have been demonized as CIA collaborators, their work whitewashed from many Iranian computers with filters. "They can't accept the free exchange of ideas and equality offered by the Internet," said Sayed Mustafa Taj-Zadeh, an advisor to reformist President Mohammad Khatami. "They had to crack down on it." ... In their first year, nearly 3,000 Persian blogs sprang to life. In a nation where apathy has saturated the younger generation, there were hopes for a political awakening on the Internet. Intimate and interactive, the Internet holds tremendous appeal here, delivering a slice of the world, a tangle of private and public utterances, into studies and living rooms. But as its political uses became clear and as reformists began to move their censored ideas into the freewheeling realms of cyberspace, the government soured on the Internet. The fight began quietly when filters appeared, blocking Web pages. ... The arrest of online journalists and bloggers began last fall. The writers say they were tortured and forced to publicly denounce their work. Even technicians who worked on Web pages have been imprisoned. President Khatami has ordered an investigation into the reports of torture.

Update: Mehr zum Thema gefolterte Weblogger im Iran jetzt in Telepolis.