Arash Sigarchi

Rachel Hoff at Middle East Forum:
On January 17, 2005, Iranian security forces arrested 28-year-old Iranian journalist and weblogger Arash Sigarchi for espionage and insulting leaders of the Islamic Republic. Sigarchi, editor of the daily Gilan Emrooz (Gilan[1] Today), had antagonized regime officials with outspoken dissent on two blogs, Panjareh-yi Eltehab (Window of Anguish) to which he was a regular contributor, as well as his own blog, http://www.sigarchi.com/blog.

Sigarchi was aware of the dangers of his actions. His posts chronicled the arrests of fellow bloggers. He spoke out against the abuse of two fellow bloggers, Shahram Rafihzadeh and Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi. In 2004, Iranian authorities arrested and beat more than twenty other blogging dissidents. Sigarchi had himself been harassed by the police who detained him for several days in August 2004 after he posted online an article with photos of a dissident rally in Tehran.[2]

Nevertheless, Iranian dissidents are increasingly penning blogs to voice criticism of the Islamic Republic and to push for freedom and democracy. With an estimated 100,000 active Iranian blogs, Persian is now tied with French as the second most common blogging language after English.[3]

Sigarchi's most recent arrest coincided with an Iranian government crackdown on blogging. ...

Go to the link to read the rest of the article. See also: Arash Sigarchi blog (Persian). Hat tip: Ann, via e-mail.

Related: Iran Focus via Free Iran: Tehran top cop to crack down on dissent.
Wed. 9 Nov 2005


Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 09 – Iranian police are planning to boost a national security plan that will effectively increase a crackdown already in effect, the chief of police in Greater Tehran announced on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Morteza Talai told the Fars news agency, run by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that the plan which was scheduled to have ended on Friday would continue to be in effect and would be enhanced.

A “Plan to Combat Trouble-makers” was launched in Tehran in September and soon spread to cities and towns across the nation. Under the scheme, thousands have been arrested within a period of several months for various charges such as “racketeering” and “loansharking”. ...

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