September 30, 2004

Reformist party protests judiciary over arrests

In a letter sent to the Judiciary, one of the main reformist parties in Iran, the Islamic Iran Participation Front has demanded an inquiry into the wave of recent arrests related to reformists news websites.

In their letter to Shahroudi, head of the judiciary, IIPC claims they have no information regarding the fate of those arrested and the charges as well as where they are being held at. The letter states that Rooydad, the official news site of the party operated within the framework of the law and was meant to be a news outlet for party members and other interested viewers, as well as a place to counter the accusations made against the party by what the letter calls media with “iron immunity”; a reference to conservative newspapers.

The authors of the letter point to the similarity of recent events to those of Saeed Emami methods and claim the recent arrests and pressures are politically motivated and aimed at preventing the public from communicating with the reformers. The letter also points out the fact that two of those arrested are sons of party leaders and call the “family” arrests illegal and opposed to human rights as well as Islamic law.

Source: Gooya News

Posted by py at 09:40 PM

September 27, 2004

Clerics approve filtering

Kayhan newspaper has published the answers of some top Qum-based clerics to three questions about "unethical and unreligious" websites. The questions were about accessing, hosting, and filtering websites which "insult sacred concepts of Islam, Prophet and Imams, publish harmful and deviated beliefs to promote Atheism and irreligiousness publish and promote sinister books."

Ayatollahs Macramé Shiraz has responded that accessing these websites is a religious taboo and ISPs should not facilitate such access, and if filtering or blocking them is possible, people in charge must do that.

Source: Kayhan

Posted by hoder at 03:59 PM

September 26, 2004

DCI rethinks filtering strategy

“We are taking fundamental steps to make parents and authorities sure that the development of IT in Iran is not contributing to corruption and immoral issues,” said Rashidi, the Director of Data Communications Organization.

“Along with developing the network, we are doing fundamental actions in the fields of security and filtering. To do so, we will employ experienced experts and consultants from allied countries so that this problem is fundamentally solved in our network. We will also provide necessary trainings, according to international standards, for all the people who are involved in the DATA network, including the members of ISPs ,” He added.

Rashidi mentions that filtering is now taking place in DATA network and the ICPs, and they are seeking to take this issue to the ISPs layer. They will support the ISPs financially with the 1 to 3 million [Toomans] (approximately 850 to 2700 USD) expenses that it will have for the ISPs. He claims that the authorities, parents and schools will not allow the development of IT in the country, if a proper filtering does not exist. He hopes that an effective filtering is established by the end of the year, so that it prevents visits to illegal and immoral websites by the users in Iran.

He defines the illegal websites as those websites that are determined to be illegal by a committee that is set up for this goal- i.e. defining the nature of the contents published in the Internet. He calls their organization an executive organization of the DATA network, which has no role in judging the content of the websites.

Source: ISNA

Posted by sanam at 12:14 AM

September 25, 2004

Emrooz staff thanks Bloggers

The staff of the reformist website Emrooz has published a letter, appreciating the coordinated move of webloggers on Monday to publish part of the news of Emrooz website in their weblogs to protest filtering and recent arrests.

“The memorable and precious move of a great number of pro freedom webloggers in defense of the freedom of speech and to protest the violation of this definite right showed that we can believe in a huge potential that can face with the violators of human rights. This move also showed that pro freedom webloggers can all become united, regardless of their interests and ideologies, to defend the other’s right…”

In this letter the staff of Emrooz have shown their passion for the mature and dynamic atmosphere of the circulation of information in the Internet, which delights any pro freedom person, despite all the deceptions and conspiracies.

“The support and solidarity that webloggers showed on Monday, thanks to the suggestion of one of the pioneers of weblogging in Iran, is another illustration of the fact that Iranian pro freedom youth can become united to settle the basis of democracy and defend each other’s basic rights despite all their disagreements and criticism toward each other.”

The management of the news website Emrooz thanked each and every person who supported this move in any way. In their letter, they have mentioned about the technical shortcomings their website is suffering from due to the recent troubles caused by filtering their website and arresting their staff, but they have promised that they will not leave the stage of free circulation of information and will use their limited facilities to their best to contribute to this field.

Source: Bamdad

Posted by sanam at 06:37 AM

September 22, 2004

Babak released, others still in detention

Two Iranian journalists report in their blogs that Babak Ghafoori Azar, one of the journalist and bloggers who was arrested two weeks ago over the reformist website, is released.

However, Hanif Mazrooie and Shahram Rafizadeh and some others are still in detention.

- Agh Bahman
- Cherknevis

Posted by hoder at 03:56 AM

September 21, 2004

Iran to build country-wide Intranet

“Shaare’ 2 is a project that aims at integrating webhosting services and providing national services to Iranian Internet users”, said Shahram Abayi, the executive member of Shaare’2 project. “Since most of the hosting and chat services in Iran are provided by foreign servers, a huge bandwidth is imposed on Iran’s international bandwidth. This project that has started since a year ago is designed to prevent from the exit of internal data and reduce international bandwidth costs”, he added.

Abayi believes that prevention of dependence on foreign services is part of the goal of this project, so that Iran won’t face with international boycotts in probable political crisis.
Source: ISNA

Posted by sanam at 09:18 AM

Bloggers protest new wave of censorship

A group of Iranian webloggers have changed the names of their weblogs into "Emrooz"- the name of one of the Iranian reformist websites who has been banned by Iran’s communications authorities several times- to protest against the recent filtering of websites, including Iranian reformist websites, as well as to protest against the new arrests and attacks to Iranian webloggers and internet activists.

This symbolic move formed after Toronto based Iranian weblogger Hossein Derakhshan suggested that Iranian weblogs change their names to
"Emrooz" on Monday and publish part of the news of "Emrooz" website in their weblogs to show the Iranian authorities that internet cannot be censored. This suggestion was welcomed unpredictably by a huge number of weblogs with different political views.

This campaign that is supported by Iranian vice president and blogger Mohammad Ali Abtahi needs international support and media coverage to have more effects and put pressure on Iranian authorities that are in charge of the censorship of internet in Iran.

Posted by sanam at 08:59 AM

Saeed Motallebi released yesterday

Saeed Motallebi, Sina Motallebi’s father who has been arrested a few days ago due to what his son had written in his weblog about the recent arrests of Iranian webloggers and website activists was released yesterday. No news has been reported so far about his health condition and allegations.

European Union and human rights activists protested against his arrest hugely, condemning what they called governmental hostage.

Posted by sanam at 08:49 AM

September 16, 2004

Blogger Sina Motallebi's father arrested

Said Motallebi, father of journalist Sina Motallebi, was arrested in Tehran on 8 September. Sina Motallebi is living in exile in the Netherlands, where he runs the news website

Said Motallebi was previously summoned by the judiciary following an 8 June RSF press conference in Paris. During the conference and in several articles published later, Sina Motallebi spoke out about the torture and ill-treatment that he had suffered while in solitary confinement in Iran from 20 April to 12 May 2003.

The Iranian authorities have threatened to make Said Motallebi "another Pourzand" (a reference to 75-year old journalist Siamak Pourzand, who has been imprisoned since 30 March 2003 and whose health has badly deteriorated in prison) if his son does not keep silent. Said Motallebi is in poor health and suffers from heart problems.


Posted by hoder at 06:20 AM

September 08, 2004

Blogger/Journalists arrested over Reformist websites

Several sources report that three young journalists have been arrested for assisting the reformist websites, Rouydad, and Emrooz. Apparently security officials stormed their homes and took their PCs etc.

They are said to be:

  • Babak Ghafoori Azar, a journalist and blogger who works with Hayat-e No daily
  • Hanif Mazrooie, a journalist and the son of top Jebhe-ye Mosharekat member, Rajab Ali Mazrooie
  • Shahram Rafi Zadeh, a journalist and blogger who is the Arts and Entertainment section editor in Etemad

- Gooya News
- Zan Nevesht

Posted by hoder at 07:31 PM

September 01, 2004

Eight website technicians detained since two weeks ago

Gooya News reports that eight people have been detained in relation with the banned reformist news websites, Emrooz and Rouydad.

They are said to have been providing hosting services and other technical support to the editors of the news websites. However, the banned websites are still operating with new addresses on free hosting services such as BlogSpot.

Rumor has it that the son of , a prominent reformist politician and journalist and one of the key members of Jebhe-ye Mosharekat (Participation Front) is among the arrested. But he has had no contact with his family or friends since then and it's not clear where he is being kept.

Posted by hoder at 05:31 AM | TrackBack