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Iran: New wave of blogger arrests

babak_biggerThe Iranian state-run news website, Irna [fa] and ultra conservative newspaper Keyhan [fa] announced this month that members of Iran Proxy, a group fighting against censorship and filtering, had been arrested. The news sites also claimed in an announcement that the Iranian government had disrupted several “U.S. backed cyber war networks” and arrested 30 people. Iranian news sites did not mention how many of the arrested people belong to Iran Proxy group.

Iran Proxy has used twitter and their website in the fight against web filtering. In an interview with Radio Farda, a representative of the group said they have been working for six years in an ‘underground’ fight against censorship.

Three months ago, the group announced on its website [fa] that due to financial pressures they were stopping their activities.

Keyhan reported that the leader of the group is a blogger named “Seyed Hussein Ronaghi Melki” whose pennames are Babak Khoramdin or Babak blogger. The newspaper claims the blogger was based in Tabriz and was involved in human rights activities. According to Keyhan he has been arrested by security forces.

Babak Khoramdin used [fa] the photo above on Twitter and his blog [fa] where he shared ideas on human rights and political issues.

Meanwhile, Iranian reformist websites announced [fa] that Mehdi Aboutorabi, founder of Persian Blog, a leading blog provider in country in the country had also been arrested. Aboutorabi was a supporter of the presidential campaign of one of Iran's main opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi. Since the presidential election on 12 June, the Iranian authorities have arrested hundreds of journalists and political activists, and also many bloggers. Aboutorabi's arrest has no relation to the Iran Proxy group.

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