17 Jun 2011
AZAD TRIBUNE’s weekly blog which aims to highlight instances of violation of free speech and/or access to information in Iran can be read on the Azad Tribune website and our Facebook page among other places.
The biggest concern these days is that talks around ‘halal Internet’ have resumed. This idea was vaguely initiated by Ayatollah Khamenei when he identified the most serious threat to the Muslim world as the ‘Soft War’, a tactic taken up by western countries to introduce western culture to Islamic countries. Broadly speaking, the ‘soft war’ refers to the cyberspace, and to combat it by creating a parallel network that conforms to Islamic principles, with the eventual aim of responding to western influence.
In December 2010, the Minister for Information, Communications and Technology of Iran, Dr. Reza Taghipour announced that the World Wide Web is polluted and this issue will be addressed by the Iranian authorities shortly. The idea of a clean internet came up and since then has been widely discussed.
Since then, many officials have backed it up by setting up the cyber police, by adopting the cyber law and most recently planning a nationwide intranet which is subject to extensive censorship. According to the Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, Ali Agha Mohammad, “the project will take 18 months to be finalised and ready to be exported to neighbouring countries.”
The Nationalist-Religious Coalition
While it was officially announced on 12 June 2011 that Hoda Saber died as a result of his ongoing hunger strike, more evidence has now surfaced showing he was severely beaten by special agents during his visit to the prison infirmary. 64 inmates have prepared and signed this piece of evidence in the form of a letter.
Hoda Saber was a political activist who was arrested on 24 July 2009. He had gone on a hunger strike 8 days prior to his death to show his disgust to the way Haleh Sahabi was killed while at her father’s funeral, Ezzatollah Sahabi, the leader of the Nationalist-Religious Coalition. It is noteworthy to mention that both Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber were all also members of the same party. Mr. Saber’s family has filed a complaint against the Evin prison.
In another outrageous occasion, Hossein Derakhshan lost appeal against his 19.5-year sentence. He has also received a 5-year ban on belonging to any political party or media organisation. Sadly though, the record now belongs to Sakhi Righi, a blogger from Baluchestan “who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of publishing false information and acts of national security”, writes Reporters without Borders.
The World Justice Project has, in its latest publication, shared detailed information on a variety of dimensions on the rule of law index in 66 countries. Not surprisingly, Iran is ranked lowest at the bottom of the list.
Find more on
Receive our newsletter for updates on the right to freedom of expressionSubscribe
Help us support lorem sit ipsum dolor amet
Your donation dummy text about what their money does.Donate