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Iran: Blogger jailed over presidential dogs

Reza ValizadehReza Valizadeh, 32 years old, journalist and blogger was the object of a complaint from the Iranian president's office and was detained on November 26.

Several Iranian blogs and websites say the main reason he was arrested is because he revealed that Ahmadinejad's security staff bought four dogs from Germany for about $150,000 each.

In recent months, Iranian authorities have cracked down on dog owners and arrested their dogs, claiming they are impure according to Islam.

Something interesting happened in jail. Valizadeh erased his post about Ahmadinejad’s dogs and wrote another one to explain his point of view on presidential dogs.

Valizadeh says [Fa] that the news about the dogs was misrepresented by some anti-governmental and anti-Islamic Republic websites, blogs and radios. The blogger adds:

… First, I wanted as a journalist just provide information on an interesting subject. Second, I think that using these dogs in presidential security teams is not a point of weakness but on the contrary, it shows the country moving towards technology and progress. Third, some religious leaders (Ulama) consider dogs can be used for security reasons.

Valizadeh concludes that it was just interesting news and that he did not intend to destroy Ahmadinejad. “He is our president with all good and bad sides,” the blogger wrote.

“Confession time as usual”

Iran Watch says, Shahram Rafizadeh a journalist and blogger, writes that Valizadeh on Saturday evening was transfered from Evin Prison to Ghazal Hesar Prison, and was left in a cell with drug addicts. Rafizadeh adds that in the last three years interrogators have learned about the internet and how to write a blog.

Fardablog says many political prisoners have been forced to make false confessions and adds:

In Iran, political prisoners used to appear on TV to “confess and repent”. Some were forced to write letters. It is interesting that confession and repentance exist for any taste! Bloggers do not need to appear on TV or write letters! They just write new posts!

A bitter joke

ZaneIrani writes that President Ahmadinejad has announced that Iran will not participate in the next Summer Olympics. He noted that, “Anyone who can run, jump, or swim has already left the country.”

The joke is circulating during the recent arrest of Reza Valizadeh, the blogger who revealed Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s overpriced dogs. These four dogs have been purchased from Germany for a total of $600,000.00 despite the recent call by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose sanctions on Iran.

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