As though Iran were running short of human rights activists to arrest, revolutionary guards have now set their sights on people who write about gadgets.
The technology news website Narenji.ir in Kerman reported on December 3, 2013 that seven of their writers and technical staff were suddenly arrested with no information about where they were taken. A list of names of those arrested was removed from the site a few hours after it was posted (see screen shot).
The way Iran's Mehr News told the story, a total of 16 cyber activists were arrested in Kerman, accused of acting against national security and collaborating with foreign networks, providing content for counter-revolutionary sites.
Nariman Gharib informs us on Twitter that at least one blogger was among those arrested.
— Nariman Gharib (@ListenToUs) December 4, 2013
The Islamic Republic has a long record of repressing digital freedoms, but the mass arrest of people writing about gadgets and technology, can be considered a new chapter.
A Facebook campaign has been launched to support Narenji's arrested staff, and netizens tweeted about new wave of arrests.
Ali Nemati Shahab tweeted [fa]:
الان اخبار بیست شبکهی خبر، اتهام بچههای #نارنجی رو اقدام علیه امنیت ملی و براندازی نرم اعلام کرد … هیچی نگید فقط براشون دعا کنید :(
— Ali Nemati Shahab (@gozareha) December 4, 2013
Narenji's staff were accused of acting against national security… Do not say anything, just pray.
Oriana tweeted [fa]:
اتهام های بچه های #نارنجی رو که می خونم نمی دونم به مسخرگیش بخندم یا گریه کنم!
— Oriana (@fallaci_sr) December 4, 2013
The accusations are so ridiculous, we do not know if we should laugh or cry.
AmirHossein tweets [fa]:
#نارنجی رید با این خبر زدنش، همین خبری که زد با عنوان دستگیری الآن براشون گرون تموم میشه. -تشویش اذهان عمومی اونم نسبت به سپاه
— امیرحوسین (@amirhosseinag) December 3, 2013
Narenji's post writing that revolutionary guards arrested them will cost them a lot.