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Iran Continues to Crack Down on Bloggers


Taking a risk in Iran

Taking a risk in Iran

The impact and implications of blogging in repressive societies were on full display during Iran’s presidential elections this summer. As noted by Reporters Without Borders, internet censorship is nothing new to Iran. The country is listed with China, Burma, and other notorious regimes as one of RSF's "Enemies of the Internet." According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Iranian authorities arrested approximately 40 journalists and bloggers in conjunction with the June 12 polls in an effort to control information about the process inside the country and abroad. In a report documenting the crackdown on election-related dissent Human Rights Watch (HRW) cites a statement from the Revolutionary Guards that singles out Iranian blogs and websites for promoting “street riots” and “rebellious behavior” and warning that "our legal action against them will cost them dearly."

Iran has long been one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists, and bloggers have faced arrest long before the June elections. Omidreza Mirsayafi, a blogger who wrote mostly about Persian music and culture, died on March 18 in Iran’s Evin prison where he had been jailed for insulting Iran’s religious leaders and agitating against the government. Prison authorities called his death a suicide, but Mirsayafi's relatives question that verdict.
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