Arash Sigarchi, an Iranian blogger, has been given a sentence of 14 years revolutionary court in the northern part of the country. He was convicted on
charges that he aided foreign counter-revolutionaries and spying. Sigarchi had used his blog to criticize the government for arresting other online
journalists. A second blogger, Motjaba Saminejad, is still being held.
An Iranian weblogger has been jailed for 14 years on charges of spying and aiding foreign counter-revolutionaries.
Arash Sigarchi was arrested last month after using his blog to criticize the arrest of other online journalists.
Mr Sigarchi, who also edits a newspaper in northern Iran, was sentenced by a revolutionary court in the Gilan area.
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As seen by the banner of our front page, the internet community has begun an effort to help the two. However, this conviction is no doubt a blow to
freedom in Iran. The only light here is that this highlights the growing rift between the hard core religious fanatics and the surge of younger
Iranians that want reform and open relations with the West. The hard core religious rulers are making a serious mistake if they feel that this
crackdown will stop the growing force that is blogging. Much like the RIAA going after Napster, it will force the community to adapt and go
undergrownd where it is impossible to track and spreads like wildfire.
It also shows that, for all the bluster, blogs and the internet are not a 'special' form of media. They can be monitored, and if not censored, then
the authors in country can simply be arrested. Tradtional media locally made, and annonymously distributed might be a better way to propagandize in a
closed society like iran, whcih is rather counter-intuitive.
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