December 18, 2008

Freedom of Blogging

I came across the letter below on Nazy's blog and would like to share it with you. For me this is a symptom of our time, a time that brings a lot of new freedoms confronting us with old fears and all sorts of oppression.
A critical blogger community is among the most democratic instruments we have today, because all mass media are biased to some extent (no denying that), but blogger-to-blogger-reporting is a contribution to grassroots democracy in a way that was unimaginable before the internet. I think it is well worth the support and protection.

On a less extreme, but also quite important note, we who are not in danger of being arrested should think about the problem more like Randall Monroe does in this xkcd-comic strip


Following is an open letter in protest of circumstances surrounding the arrest of Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian blogger who has been detained in Tehran for over a month now.

We, the undersigned, view the circumstances surrounding the Iranian authorities' arrest of Hossein Derakhshan (, one of the most prominent Iranian bloggers, as extremely worrying. Derakhshan's disappearance, detention at an unknown location, lack of access to his family and attorneys, and the authorities' failure to provide clear information about his potential charges is a source of concern for us.

The Iranian blogging community is one of the largest and most vibrant in the world. From ordinary citizens to the President, a diverse and large number of Iranians are engaged in blogging. These bloggers encompass a wide spectrum of views and perspectives, and they play a vital role in open discussions of social, cultural and political affairs.

Unfortunately, in recent years, numerous websites and blogs have been routinely blocked by the authorities, and some bloggers have been harassed or detained. Derakhshan's detention is but the latest episode in this ongoing saga and is being viewed as an attempt to silence and intimidate the blogging community as a whole.

Derakhshan's own position regarding a number of prisoners of conscience in Iran has been a source of contention among the blogging community and has caused many to distance themselves from him. This, however, doesn't change the fact that the freedom of expression is sacred for all not just the ones with whom we agree.

We therefore categorically condemn the circumstances sourrounding Derakhshan's arrest and detention and demand his immediate release.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done, my son. I'm with you! Love you. Dad