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'Internet Is Our Absolute Right'


A young Iranian browses at an Internet cafe in the city of Hamadan (file photo)

A young Iranian browses at an Internet cafe in the city of Hamadan (file photo)

Blogger "The Little Sociologist" says free and fast Internet is the right of all Iranians but that their government is violating that right through censorship and painfully slow Internet:

The above statement reminds us all of the famous [government] slogan "Nuclear power is our absolute right," although many Iranians doubt whether it is in fact their absolute right or not, while some believe perhaps it is not.

It is safe to say that this is a mere slogan, simply being repeated by the parrots, with many different opinions about it.

Usually, the rulers imply anything that could help strengthen their rule is an absolute right, while the parrots spread [such a message] by repeating it without knowing what it actually means. Let alone the times when people's actual rights are denied and the government doesn't even take a glance in response to the shouts of its people.

This is the case with our country. While every developed country struggles to offer the best facilities to its citizens, the developing nations -- even African ones -- strive to provide their residents with the latest technological facilities; and their rivalry is all about higher speed of communication and Internet and ways to improvise better facilities. [But] we have to keep looking for cyber cafes and proxies in order to carry out our tasks related to the virtual world -- or at least spend some time chatting in this world -- as we are either meddling through self-censorship or being suppressed by an outside censor and are unable to debate freely.

Those who can easily shout out "Internet is our absolute right," those who pay for their Internet and taxes, are in a better spot than us. We are the subject of the decisions of the government; if we protest, they are capable of turning off drinking water on us.

Yes, there's no end in sight to this story, with the slight difference that the same old citizens are now aware of things like Internet and nuclear power.

But the rights of these citizens are decided by the government; it can suppress them to the extent that they give up hope, or tease them with the facilities that they are equipped with until they wish to die. But never are they entitled to raise a voice.

Despite the situation at hand -- and the unavailability of information -- I am well-informed enough to know that Internet is my absolute right, although I am not sure whether nuclear power is or not.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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