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Iran’s “Cyber Police” Kill Jailed Blogger

November 13th, 2012 · 13 Comments

We know they have openly promised to destroy Israel; we are aware they finance the worst terrorist groups in the world, that deliberately target civilians; we have been appalled at how they brutally suppress their own people; we were aghast when they murdered a Canadian photo-journalist while detained in custody; and now, Iran’s barbaric “cyber police” have MURDERED a factory worker whose hobby was BLOGGING about issues that concerned him.

Sattar Beheshti was “detained” Oct. 30 for alleged cybercrimes and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evi prison. The next day he was turned over “for interrogation” …and three days later, he was dead.

A coroner’s report revealed signs of torture: FIVE wounds on Beheshti’s hand, foot, back and thigh.

It has now been confirmed that Baheshti had actually writtena letter complaining of brutality at the hands of his interrogators…. including “threats, insults and beatings.”

For blogging!!!!

But here’s where it gets really interesting … Iran’s Parliament and the country’s Judicary Chief, Ayotallah Sadeq Larijani, have both ordered a full inquiry! And three interrogators have been arrested.

In a country where oppression of dissent, censorship of all kinds is officially sanctioned, torture of internees has been routine … a ray of hope that there may actually be limits to the brutality even the Ayotollahs will tolerate:like beating and torturing someone for blogging!

Of course, time will tell what actually happens: charges? a trial? convictions? meaningful punishment?

But the incident teaches ALL of us how powerful blogging has become …that governments are paying a lot of attention to what is being said;and how many of them fear the impact of postings and discussions that take place.

We should all acknowledge and salute the bravery and sacrifice of Sattar Beheshti.

And realize the importance of what we all do here in the blogosphere.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: International · Media

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 D.M. Johnston // Nov 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The fear of theocracies, is that more and more religion is becoming irrelevant and this scares those practicing devout religions – of all denominations.

    To torture and murder a blogger, the Iranians have told the world that their country and their religion, Islam, is so in danger of becoming redundant, that they kill anyone who dares to question the official diktats and edicts.

    As I grow older, I view organized religions as cults, some weak some strong; many better than otheres. Those cults, er religions, that condone hatred and more, should be treated with disdain or even taxed out od existance. In fact all religions should be taxed!

    As for blogging itself, it is the new media and for better or for worse, blogging and the bloggist is the new journalist.

    “Great spirits have always experienced violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
    Albert Einstein

    Blog on and remember those who have met violent ends championing the right to say what he or she wants to say.

    (Response: Isn’t it interesting how dictators, tyrants are willing to use such brutality to stifle criticism as well as active opposition. But even some of our “democratically elected” governments try to intimidate and sideline critcism and critics … but NOTHING like the barbarians who rule elsewhere. h.o)

  • 2 13 // Nov 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I am amazed that we still get outraged over the barbaric behavior that exists in the mid east . We have opened our arms to welcome people from Iran. They bring many of their cultural bias and less than acceptable behavior to our city and we dont think twice. I know of family members that disappear while on holidays there by ending marital problems. Another story of an I ranian gentleman confronting a bylaw officer in West Van. When the outcome wasnt to his liking he extinguished his cigarette in the bylaw officers eye. This brutish disgusting behavior is what they consider acceptable here in Vancouver. Imagine in their homeland.

  • 3 Mo // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    @13

    And was the outcome of the assault? charges? arrests? Punishments?

  • 4 Larry Bennett // Nov 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    D.M. Johnston is so typical of thought today, it is always the “theocracies” that need to be feared, and I can agree to some extent, but he doesn’t describe a theocracy. Would the Vatican be a Theocracy, and is it evil? Sadly, the biggest murderers in history have been the opposite; it is atheistic philosophies that have killed the most in history, certainly in the last couple of centuries. Cults like National Socialism can hardly be described as theocratic, yet they and Communism, Stalinist and Maoist, have killed hundreds of millions. Harvey talks about G.W. Bush being responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Iraq, but fails to mention that the great Democrat, Jimmy Carter warned Americans of being “inordinately” fearful of communism at the very time that Pol Pot was murdering millions of his own people! Mr. Johnston is also guilty of referring to “organized” religion as the great bugaboo, but the most “organized”religion in the world was probably Judaism, which Jesus pretty much followed to a “T” right up to the day of his arrest and including his anointment for burial.

    (Response: I’m not sure about your premise: I have heard several times that the number of people killed for religious reasons, by religiuos fanatics and in religious wars is greater than all political wars in history. Either way, radical ideology and intolerance seems to be the culprit …and and a fear of anyone “different” or search for scapegots that seems to be the big problem. h.o)

  • 5 Diverdarren // Nov 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

    @ Mo,

    In your brief response to 13′s point that Canada has accepted immigrants with cultures of violence and oppression, and made the on par with Canadian culture, you seem to suggest that when one of our new-comers show their barbaric heritage our Canadian justice system is there to answer the challenge.

    Canada is ill-equip to integrate Eastern cultures into it’s society because of the flaw of multiculturalism. Our belief that Canadian culture is no better than any other culture, and thus Canada should be a mosaic not a melting pot denies a simple truth. Canada was built, and become the ideal nation (peaceful, prosperous and fair) by upholding Western culture. The worst basket-case nations are built on Eastern cultures and values. How can our society be strengthened by accepting cultures that are based on violence, corruption and oppression as equal to our own?

    Let’s use the West Van assault on a city by-law officer as an example of East meets West.

    Jozep Baksay, 55 assaulted a city officer over a trivial matter in Oct ’08. He was charged with assault peace officer and assault with a weapon. That’s serious stuff in Canadian society; it holds maximum sentences of 5 and 10 years respectively. The courts heard the matter over 8 proceedings (you can guess what that cost) leading to a finding of guilty. The sentence being a fine of $1000 (assault PO) and $500 (assault/weapon). Wow! That’s paying your debt to society?

    When cultures of violence, oppression and corruption meet with the Canadian culture of leniency, we end up the looser. In West Van it was a loss of our tax money, but with infamous cases like Air India, Omar Khadr and the Shafia “honor killing” it’s a loss of our Canadian dignity

    The question is simple. Would you rather live in a nation built on Western values, or a nation built on Eastern values? If Canadian’s don’t want to live like an Eastern nation why do we force ourselves to accept Eastern cultures as equal. It’s Eastern cultures that have built the countries we don’t want to live in.

  • 6 Islander // Nov 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

    A few years ago, MP Garth Turner was kicked out of the federal Conservative caucus by Stephen Harper for blogging to his constituents. The blog continued as Turner sat as an independent and after he joined the Libs. He lost his seat in the next election.

    He referred to his blog as an experiment in ‘digital democracy’, and it was fascinating reading at the time. A little too fascinating to suit Harper.

    All that was missing was the torture and I’m sure Mr. Harper would have arranged for that too, it he could have gotten away with it.

  • 7 Larry Bennett // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Could that be because, though we abhor it, that religion and politics, are both affected by the other, and cannot be (nor should be) totally separate? The Tudor king, Henry VIII was a political figure, while Martin Luther was a religious figure, Stalin was political and various popes were religious, yet both had policies that the other thought to be within their realm. What you’ve “heard” is no more an indication of truth than are the stories spread about Jews eating Christian children, or Protestant claims that Catholics are idolators. That said, there are many adherents still, who are willing to die for their spiritual beliefs, and conversely, willing to kill for them.

  • 8 r // Nov 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Harv
    thanks for the keeping it real blog.

  • 9 teririch // Nov 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @Harvey:

    I am curious to know your thoughts on ‘Golden Dawn’.

    I understand they have set up a chapter in Montreal.

    I also understand the movement has ties to the KKK.

    (Response: I totally reject ANY group that: denies people membership or citizenship or civil rights based on their ethnicity, race,gender, sexual orientation etc; or believes in dictatorial or discriminatory rule/government …regardless of what they call themselves. h.o)

  • 10 Persey // Nov 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Harvey,

    regarding your response to teririch:

    How about a political party that refuses to accept a candidate because of his gender?

    (Response: As I said I do not support parties that discriminate … instead of choosing the best possible representative and can tell you, I live in a riding where the NDP did discriminate …and they lost my vote and judging by the current MLA being a Liberal, a lot of others too!. h.o)

  • 11 Mo // Nov 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @diverdarrin
    I asked because I had never heard of the offence that was mentioned and wanted to know the outcome.

    Let me say that I was enraged to hear what the punishment that was meted out. Disgraceful!

    I strongly disagree with our propensity to make allowances for barbaric behaviour. Jail time should have been the perpetrator’s just sentence.

    We are on a slippery slope if we continue to not exert Canadian Values over the immigrant’s values.

    If they like theirs they can stay where they are.

    Multiculturalism will be the ruin of us.

  • 12 e.a.f. // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

    It doesn’t matter who is responsible for more or less deaths, political or religious. They caused deaths & that is the problem.

    Some politicians use religion to achieve their goals & some religious leaders use politics to achieve their goals. Both religious & political leaders will do what they want, at times, to achieve their goals, with no regard for the value of humanity.

    As to eastern culture meeting western culture, you have idiots everywhere who do not respect the rule of law and the rights of others to live their lives as they see fit. We hear people complaining about new cultures effecting “Canadian culture”. Gee, I guess that is a little like how the First Nation Peoples must have felt when the first Europeans arrived to impose their culture on them.

  • 13 13 // Nov 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    @eaf

    Ive read your last post a number of times and I was having a problem with you take on culture vs culture. It dawned on me that while your arguments are all valid they depend on the notion that the past misdeeds can NEVER be forgiven nor can we move forward because of them.

    Well most western cultures and most western religions have stopped the killing in the name of God. Yes Im sure that examples still exist but compared to eastern religions where women dont count and killing is honourable we have evolved. Peace in the middle east is and seems to be a dream that will never come true.As far as the first nations people not being treated fairly by the europeans a couple hundred years ago you can feel as guilty as you wish. You can even have some of my guilt if you wish. We have been trying to make amends for the sins of our forefathers for many years. We will continue for many many years to come. I doubt the day will ever come where someone will stand up and say “its over and the first nations peoples of Canada forgive the past behavior of all Canadians and wish to move on to prosperity along with all other Canadians”