April 30, 2003

Latest news on Sina

Emrooz (Today) Newspaper in Tehran reported yesterday that Sina had appeared at a special court division in Tehran's Mehrabad international airport(!!). He told Judge Zafarghandi that he would prefer not to answer to his charges at this point. He also confirmed that he has accepted some charges and would like to present his case about others. Sina is then quoted to say he may need a lawyer at the trial stage but in this primary investigative phases he does not need one. He then asked everyone concerned with his case to not judge him until he clears any misunderstandings and verified that he has been allowed to meet with his family.

Sina's wife Farnaz has also been vocal about him. In her blog manioman (Mani & I, Mani being her young son) complained of people attributing certain quotes to her. She states that she has not had done interviews with any radio stations broadcasting to Iran from abroad or even local newspapers. She then asks friends to remain silent on the matter and let things be.

My 2 cents: don't be surprised if Sina is forced to accepting any charges or even confesses to certain misdeeds. This is unfortunately the norm for Iranian prisoners. Remember this, for Sina and his family, the priority right now is to get the most lenient sentence for him. Remaining silent and/or accepting some misdemeanors is the easiest way to achieve that. I can completely understand their rationale too. Getting a 5 year sentence or a 10 year one for a 30 year old with a baby in waiting is a huge difference.

For me and many others involved in a campaign to free him, Sina's arrest, charges and eventual sentence is just a small part of the puzzle. As I wrote before, the larger picture involves the future of free speech as it relates to the internet and blogs in Iran, as well as the attempted crackdown by the Iranian government against a new generation. With that in mind, we can't afford to remain neutral.

Have you signed the petition yet?

Posted by Pedram at April 30, 2003 09:26 PM

This is the sort of blogger who should be on Freenet, where he can't be censored or tracked down. Both for his own sake and to make Frenet more respectable.

We need more bypassing of state censorship on Freenet, and less child porn.

Posted by: marlowe at May 1, 2003 12:02 PM


Posted by: camel jockey at May 2, 2003 05:41 AM
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