Tuesday, February 22, 2005

FREE MOJTABA AND ARASH DAY

In the news: Global blogger action day called. [Via Bourque.]

The month-old Committee to Protect Bloggers' is asking those with blogs to dedicate their sites on Tuesday to the "Free Mojtaba and Arash Day".

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both in prison in Iran.

Blogs are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions. Iranian authorities have been clamping down on prominent sites for some time. (BBC, 02/22/05.)


Here is an excerpt from the article, Appeal court upholds prison sentence for cyber-dissident; another blogger imprisoned as court doubles bail.

In Saminejad's case, he was summoned to the Tehran Prosecutor's Office on 12 February 2005, where he was told his bail had been increased to 1 billion rials (approx. $US113,300; 87, 000 euros). The blogger was first arrested in November 2004 for reporting the arrests of three fellow bloggers in his former blog (http://man-namanam.blogspot.com). While detained, his blog address was rerouted to that of a group of hackers linked to the Iranian radical Islamist movement Hezbollah (http://irongroup.blogspot.com/). After his release, he re-launched his blog using a new address (http://8mdr8.blogspot.com), which may have prompted the second arrest.

The other blogger currently in prison is journalist Arash Sigarchi. Sigarchi was arrested on 17 January 2005 in the northern city of Rashat for maintaining a banned blog called Panhjareh Eltehab (The Window of Anxiety), in which he reported the recent arrests of cyber-journalists and bloggers. (International Freedom of Expression Exchange, 02/15/05.)


From the article, Bloggers rally for jailed Iranians.

Some notable members of the blogging community took up the cause. They included Jeff Jarvis, who runs the BuzzMachine site, and Glenn Reynolds, who's behind Instapundit.

Hopkins said the response was just as impressive around the world. Hits on the committee site jumped from a daily average of about 500 to about 3,000 just during the Asian daytime hours. "It's been going like gangbusters," he said. "We've had people from Brunei and Saudi Arabia, and Japan and Russia." (CNET News.com, 02/22/05.)


Join Jeff Jarvis, Hossein Derakhshan, and Farin at the barricades...

[Hat tip to Penlog.]