What Ahmadinejad Does to Bloggers
Somewhere in Tehran right now, someone not so different from you or I is logging onto the internet to visit a site not so different from this one. In fact, one of the most vibrant and active online communities found outside of the United States can be found in Iran. Yet, the bloggers of Tehran are taking a significant personal risk, in the hope that their voices will be heard.
Ahmadinejad, who recently started a blog of his own, has been quietly escalating arrests on bloggers across Iran for the past year. Their sites have been shut down. They have been imprisoned. They have been tortured.
Take the case of Tehran University student Abed Tavancheh. This 23-year-old blogger was arrested last May, accused of fermenting unrest and jailed. Before his eventual release last July, he was severely beaten and suffered kidney damage.
This is what the bloggers of Iran risk with every post. Yet, it is a risk that people are taking everyday. And, every so often, like some kind of Orwellian nightmare…a voice goes silent.
It is a silence that must not be ignored.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm living in an island. What is it that they don't want us to know? ... No matter how, I just wanna get myself out of this place."
-- Iranian blogger known as "scarecrow"