Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Iran Cracks Down on Dissenters

Pictured is Akbar Muhammadi, imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Iranian regime of Ahmadinejad.

By Aussiegirl

For those inclined to be seduced by the smooth-talking Ahmadinejad (paging Mike Wallace and the rest of the breathless media) here is a bit of instructive reality. Let's see, Mr. Wallace, you might have asked Mahmoud about these developments in his country instead of fawning over all this talk of "dialogue of civilizations" nonsense. But then, you were never faced with jail or death for your treasonous reporting in this country. Instead you became rich and famous, if not wise. Meanwhile, in Iran, journalists truly worthy of their name languish in jail, suffer torture and even death for daring to tell the truth. Wise up, America. George Bush is not your enemy.

NPR : Iran Cracks Down on Dissenters

In Iran, journalists, reformers, and student activists feared that the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might lead to repressive policies and restrictions. After a year of comparative calm, however, observers say that it now appears that their fears were justified.

Iran's government has recently jailed several prominent students and activists -- and at least one has died in prison under mysterious circumstances.

Within the past three months, at least two political deaths have occurred in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. One was a longtime political prisoner who the authorities said suffered a heart attack during a hunger strike.

Another was Akbar Mohammadi, a student activist who has been in and out of prisons for the past six years. He, too, died during a hunger strike. Mohammadi was buried before his parents could see his body, prompting suspicions that he was tortured or beaten.

As for the crackdown on journalists, the government has just closed Iran's most prominent and popular daily newspaper, Shargh, which means "East" in Farsi. The offending material, according to sources in Iran, was a front-page cartoon depicting President Ahmadinejad as a donkey.

The government also convicted a prominent reform journalist, Issa Saharkhiz, for his critical writing about Iran's Supreme Religious Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Saharkhiz is appealing his case and remains out of prison for the moment.


At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2004 I met a young Iranian student who had been imprisoned for demonstrating for democracy. He had been tortured in prison. Some of his friends died in prison during the few weeks they were held.

Most people in the West don't have a clue what we are really dealing with in Iran. That one encounter made the whole situation much more real to me.

My friend told me, "Most Iranians love America. We hope that America will help us become a democracy." I wish America could do that. It doesn't seem likely in the present political climate.


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