Iran blocks access to Facebook, Gmail ahead of Islamic Revolution anniversary; blogger beaten & arrested

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    Feb 13, 2012 4:36 PM GMT
    Iran blocks access to Facebook, Gmail ahead of Islamic Revolution anniversary
    Online reports suggest sites censored in order to suppress any attempt by opposition to renew its protests during the upcoming month-long anniversary celebration to honor the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    According to an Iranian news agency, 30 million Iranians discovered this week that they could not access their accounts on Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail among other websites.

    ...Until now, Iranians had been using programs such as TOR to bypass government censors. However, many are now reporting that even those programs no longer allow access to websites such as Facebook.

    The news comes in the wake of a report stating that Iran was seeking to disconnect from the World Wide Web, and is seeking to establish its own national network.

    Furthermore, Iranian authorities have begun enforcing a new law which forces internet café owners to collect information regarding their clients. Should the owners refuse, they could face the possibility having their business shut down.

    The Internet, and specifically social network sites, played a major role during the 2009 anti-regime protests that rocked the country after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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    Feb 25, 2012 5:29 PM GMT
    propaganda pouncer> Iran is NOT cracking down brutally on its own protesters. Probably because Iran doesn't HAVE protesters in the kind of numbers it would take to mount any serious challenge to the government (this in a country of nearly 80 million people).

    Guess AyaTrollah pouncer must have only been getting his news from PressTV in 2009:

    Yeah,pouncer must be right. Not many people protested at all... icon_rolleyes.gif

    More recently, when Iranians showed solidarity with Tunisians and Egyptians, the "democractic" regime shut them down:

    Iran protest crackdown condemned
    Amnesty International has condemned the Iranian authorities for breaking up an apparently peaceful march held in Tehran in support of Egyptian and Tunisian protests. Protests were also reportedly held in other cities across Iran, such as Esfahan, Shiraz and Kermanshah.

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    Feb 27, 2012 12:37 AM GMT

    In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the son of imprisoned blogger Mehdi Khazali expressed concern about his health 49 days after he began his hunger strike in protest of his “temporary detention” without charges.

    ...Mehdi Khazali is one of Iran’s political activists who has spoken of boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections. His latest arrest came on 9 January, when security forces brutally beat and arrested the dissident blogger and head of Hayyan Publishing House, breaking his arm.

    ...Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi has previously sentenced Mehdi Khazali to 14 years in prison, 10 years in exile, and 90 lashes. In those cases he was charged with “propagating against the state,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” “acting against national security,” and “writing a critical letter to the Supreme Leader.” He has not yet been charged for his January 9 arrest.