The judiciary’s campaign against the newspapers close to the Islamic government’s reformist faction was extended to the realm of cyber space, as staff of three ISPs used by reformist party Participation Front’s Internet sites go to jail and the sites were shut down, or changed, Hossein Bastani, a Tehran-based journalist tells Radio Farda. August 23, 2004 - Three Internet site operated by the pro-reform party headed by President Khatami’s brother became inaccessible, or altered, by the judiciary, after judiciary arrested the technical staff of three Internet Service Provider companies that published the sites.
“The judiciary officials took away the vertical keys to the Participation Front’s news and commentary site Rooydad, and effectively took control of the site,” Tehran-based journalist Hossein Bastani tells Radio Farda’s broadcaster Maryam Manzouri.
“The site is no longer in the control of its managers,” he adds. “Worse than that, some of the people involved in the site are being prosecuted, even those working on technical jobs.” Two other sites, Bamdad and Emrooz have been affected too.
Head of the Participation Front party Mohammad-Reza Khatami wrote to the office of president complaining about arrests, summons and detentions of Internet companies’ staff, he adds.
“Some of the strategists of the conservative faction had initially proposed that instead of prosecuting newspapers, the journalists should be dealt with,” he adds. “Now we see that the same proposal is being implemented, as the employees of banned newspapers are being prevented from working in other newspapers. They are doing the same thing with the workers of the reformists’ Internet sites,” Bastani says.