Posts in category Free Speech


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Civil SocietyFree Speech

Vandalism Marks ‘Schindler’s List’ Movie Night

“Last night we rented the film Schindler’s List. In one part of the film we saw how Nazi agents raided Jewish homes. There were terrible sounds of shooting and killing and destruction. You could see how family members were detained and the massacres begin. Little by little, I could feel the sounds getting closer and closer, combining with the sounds of gunshots and angry shouting.”

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Civil SocietyFeaturedFree Speech

The First Day of School in Iran: You Can’t Say “That”

At the end of September, children all over Iran begin their first day of school. It’s an exciting time, filled with hope and the promise of new friends and new experiences. For many children it’s also about learning how different the world of the family is from the world outside the family. Many people were interviewed for this article. Some had come of age during the darkest days after the revolution, during the war with Iraq. Some had children who had recently begun school.

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Civil SocietyFree Speech

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Stages Sit-In

Arseh Sevom–Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is protesting her three-year suspension from practicing law with a protest in front of the Iran Bar Association. She has been joined by a number of other dissidents, including Mohammad Nourizad and Mohammad Maleki. Sotoudeh explains the reasons for her protest beginning with this point: “The Iranian government has been depriving dissidents from the right to life, education and work for many years.”

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Free SpeechPost of the Week

Iran: No News is Bad News, Crackdown on Journalists

In the wake of a crackdown on journalists in Iran combined with the harassment of their family and friends, no news is bad news. The Ministry of Intelligence promises there won’t be an end to the arrests until the entire network is revealed, claiming that those arrested are being arrested for collaborating with foreign forces rather than working as journalists. Exiled journalist Masih Alinejad bitterly jokes of babies begging their mothers not to give birth so that they can avoid detention. Saghi Laghaie warns people to not share any details about those arrested that could be used against them. “Avoid writing about your shared memories or dialogues as they might be used against them…”

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Letter from Maleki: Doubt Not, Tomorrow is Your Turn

Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former chancellor of the University of Tehran, is a long-time dissident. As the first post-revolution chancellor of the University of Tehran, he attempted to institute direct democratic management of the institution. Among other subjects, this letter refers to the destruction of that experiment, and his own imprisonment. While …

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Civil Society CookbookFree SpeechHalal InternetSimple Security

Breaking and Bending Censorship with Walid Al-Saqaf

Arseh Sevom — Reports from the Islamic Republic of Iran about internet speeds, work to create a parallel cyber Iran, and the growing success of filtering systems paint a picture of desperate efforts to exert control over the population. Iran is not alone in its efforts. North Korea has their own “intranet” called Kwang Myong (“light” or “hope, fair, just, open”). The North Korean version duplicates external content it deems acceptable. Iran’s new closed intranet is expected to do the same, in a cyber version of what the state already does in traditional media by cherry-picking content from international sources and editing or translating it in ways that often distort the original meaning.

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