We interrupt regular programming to bring you this...
The good folks at the 'Committee to Protect Bloggers' (that I talked about last month) have scheduled today as Free Mojtaba and Arash Day. Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are two Iranian bloggers who are currently in prison because of their blogs. The CPB encourages bloggers around the world to do the following:
- Dedicate your blog for the entire day to Mojtaba and Arash. Write only about their situation, and the danger to bloggers in general, or leave your blog blank with just the demand, “Free Mojtaba and Arash!” on it. This is the major action. If you do nothing else, do this. Let there be a pause in the daily business of the blogosphere in the name of freedom.
- Download one of our banners (or here) or buttons and post it on your page.
Sponsor get-togethers, in cyberspace or in real space.
- Write letters and emails to representatives of the Iranian government. (and here) and to representatives of your own. Request that Arash be freed and Mojtaba’s charages be dismissed. [Mojtaba was arrested again after this was posted]
- Call local and national press. Let them know what is happening.
- If you’re feeling particular ambitious, take your message outside. Make a sign, be seen, deliver letters in person to representatives of the Iranian government or to your own.
If you are in Bahrain, the contact info for the Iranian Embassy here is:
Tel: 00 973 722101
Fax: 00 973 722400
Address: Ent.1034-Villa No.1&2, Road 3221, Area 332, Mahooz, Manama
So register your complaints there. If you do not live in Bahrain then find the contact info of the Iranian Embassy in your country from this site. It would be better if you would write your own letter, but if you don't have the time, then here is one that you can copy and paste into an e-mail, and send to the concerned persons (I adapted it from the CPB's letter):
Dear Sir or Madam,
The state of Iran currently has two men, Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad, in prison. I respectfully request that you release both men. Their imprisonment is contrary to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I hasten to remind you, Iran was one of the 58 United Nations Member States who voted to ratify this document. I also request that you make public the information regarding the charges being brought against Mr. Sigarchi and Mr. Saminejad, and by whom they will be defended in court.
In addition to your local Iranian Embassy, I suggest that you also CC the e-mail to:
- President, His Excellency Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohammad Khatami
- Head of Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, via the Public Relations Department and the Relations Director of the Iranian Ministry of Justice
- Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif
... Regular transmission will continue tomorrow