A group of Iranian bloggers have started a movement to remember and create awareness about several university students that have been arrested in recent months, including three who are still in prison. The idea for the campaign is to rename as many blogs as possible to “August the 5th” (14th of Mordad in the Iranian calendar).
The detainees’ families say the students — all in their early 20s — have been subjected to physical and psychological pressure ranging from verbal abuse to beatings with cables. It seems their worst charges are insulting the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic and inciting public opinion.
August 5th, 2007
According to the 14mordad blog, this date is:
The 101-st anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. But Iranian people still struggle for democracy and student activists are still sent to jails.
In support and memory of our fellow activists, some of whom are bloggers as well, a group of Iranian bloggers will change their blog titles on August the 5th to “August 5th: The day of support for jailed Iranian students”. We invite you, even as a non-Iranian blogger, to participate in this cause. You can join by sending us e-mail to email@example.com
The blog says 397 bloggers have already announced their support to this initiative and more will join in next days.
Hamid City who supports this initiative has also published the photos of jailed student activists and some other political prisoners. The blogger suggests [Fa] that each person should encourage ten of his/her friends to join.
Mir remarks [Fa] that after 101 years after Constitutional Revolution, Evin Prison is still full of the brave children of Iran.
Fardayekvatan says [Fa] let’s write about justice and democracy and jailed students. Maybe each of us can become a candle in the heart of the desert.
Ganji calls for support
Akbar Ganji, the respectable political activist who spent over five years behind the bars, has written an open letter to Iranians asking for their help to release the imprisoned Iranian students from prisons. Remembering his days in solitary confinement and reminding everyone of the crimes the Islamic Republic has committed under the name of holiness, he writes “women rights’ groups and labor syndicates receive support from abroad because there are related organizations everywhere. Students, on the other hand, do not have a counterpart in the West and are more vulnerable.”
Islamist bloggers vs. Iranian TV
There are other bloggers who are busy with other issues. Several islamist bloggers have recently criticised Iranian national TV. One of main reasons is that about two weeks ago, Iranian TV anchor Farzad Hasani grilled police chief Sardar Radan on the mistreatment of women in latest crackdown.
Abdeto says [Fa], that anchors and their guests do not respect real Islamic dress code although they are on national media where people from different social classes watch them. It becomes worse everyday, says the blogger. Their way of dressing can influence millions of people and it becomes a fashion very soon. The blogger says the anchor tried to make chief police nervous.
Agahii writes [Fa] we consider national TV an instrument to educate our children with revolutionary values but by looking at films and series that are encouraging comfortable life and becoming wealthy I have a real doubt that TV works in this way. It needs to change. How can this organization hire anchors who do not respect Islamic rules? The blogger adds he is surprised to hear so much western music on Iranian radio.