Monday, April 28, 2003

Iranian Girl had been blogging about the arrest of Iranian journalist Sina Motallebi, one of the first journalists in Iran to start a blog (in Farsi, and now taken offline) using his own name.

Pedram Moallemian, a human rights activist based in Southern California, has started an online petition to release Sina. Read more here:

This is however part of a new offensive with new targets. It is not the political activists or human rights advocates that are being targeted this time. It's not even the so called "reformers" or those mildly critical of regime's tactics or approach. This time it is the youth and the ones who have found new ways of expressing their dissatisfaction with the ruling class that are the new enemy. In particular, freedom of expression via the internet is now being targeted.... They went after the highest profile "internet personality" of the new generation and Sina was it.

In other news, over the weekend I got the name and number of a Farsi teacher in Prague. I'm going to start taking lessons -- soon, really soon.

Now for the really strange news. The New York Sun reported (I learned via Oxblog) of a July 9 general strike being organized by student groups in Tehran, a strike which "they hope will expand to topple the government there and bring freedom and democracy to the Iranian people."

Thing is, Iranian Girl knows nothing about this: "I had some mails asking me about the general strike of July 9 in Iran!!! Actually I don't know haven't heard anything about it...so what is it that people outside Iran know about it sooner that Iranians inside?"

So we're left with a Sun article (chock full of quotes from Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah) reporting: "The optimism of the Iranian opposition movement is palpable, despite a lack of attention in the Western press."

Hm. Do you think they maybe got that the wrong way around?

Click here to find out what happened to the last July 9 demonstration in Iran.

And here is the weblog of Pedram Moallemian, the guy organizing the petition. Among other things, he reports that the famous and laughable Nigerian bank transfer scam has moved to Iraq...


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