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Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Iran's Response to the Internet

Letter from Rajab Ali Mazrui, Head of the Journalist Union of Iran, to Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

I would not have the will or determination to openly publish this letter if the Judiciary’s propaganda arm had not published letters allegedly written by imprisoned journalists in connection with the project to crack down on Internet sites. But the confusion caused by those who had a hand in this project and attempted to cover up their illegal, immoral and oppressive activities via the publishing of these confession letters left me no choice but to publish this letter. I hope that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran, which forced several newspapers to publish these confession letters, will also allow the publication of my letter without subjecting it to censorship. So that those who “seek truth and love justice” are exposed to an accurate portrayal of what happened to those who were detained in connection with the Internet sites project (despite all the smoke and mirrors). And so that if one day a system of justice is established in Iran, it can investigate what I am reporting and execute justice accordingly. Despite the fact that the sayings and writings of the aforementioned detainees who have been released on bail and are awaiting trial and sentencing by the courts must be analyzed and interpreted accordingly, we must not forget that there will be a tomorrow and the truth shall be revealed. I just cannot understand how those who continually speak of justice have simply stood by and witnessed the gross miscarriage of justice that has taken place in connection with these vulnerable citizens! May peace be upon you…

Rajabali Mazru’i, 12/11/04

Dear Hojjatolislam-val-muslimin Khatami, Respected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


Pursuant to my letters dated 9/4/04 and 10/26/04, once again I am inconveniencing you to provide you with information on the release of Hanif and the others who were arrested in connection with the Internet sites [case] so that you are informed on what happened to them. What were the authorities after? What did they gain?

Around 6:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, someone from the prosecutor’s office called us at home and announced that at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning we should go to of the Prosecutor’s Office (District 9 – Airport) in order to post bail for Hanif’s release. At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, I went to the aforementioned prosecutor’s office. At first the prosecutorial authorities said that they did not know anything about the matter but invite me and Qurayshi’s family to wait. Finally, after an hour and a half of waiting, they announced that we could request to post bail. At this time Mr. Derayati also joined us. Each one of us wrote a separate request for posting bail and the commanding officer accepted our requests. The administrative paperwork for posting bail took until noon the next day, at which point we were informed that Hanif Mazrui, Mehdi Derayati and Massoud Qurayshi would be released on that day. In response to my question regarding where we should go to receive them, we were informed that there was no need for us to go anywhere; they would join us on their own.

It is interesting to note that during the time it took us to post bail, it became apparent that none of the offices in the District 9 of the Prosecutor’s Office had registered the names of these individuals as either arrestees or detainees. No case files existed for any of them; action was taken only in response to our individual requests and the commanding officer’s cooperation.


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Tagged as:

Free Speech, Right to Protest, Cyber Journalism, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Free Association, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination