Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Brave Iranian Blogger

From the L.A. Times:
TEHRAN — "Excuse me, Miss, but here in my hand I have a warrant for your arrest," said a middle-aged man with a few days' growth of beard. "Please do not make any noise as you walk calmly to the Mercedes parked at the corner."
I was taken to a room down a long corridor and told to sit down. A fat hand with an agate stone ring set an interrogation form in front of me. Then he began asking about my Web log, which has hyperlinks on it to Western feminist groups.

"Do you accept the charges?" the interrogator asked.

"What charges?"

"That you have written things in your Web log that go against the Islamic system and that encourage people to topple the system," he said. "You are inviting corrupt American liberalism to rule Iran."

"I've tried to write my ideas and opinions in my Web log and to communicate with others in Farsi all over the world," I said.

He was displeased.
Over the days that followed, I confessed to many things, including having had sex with my boyfriend, who has his own Web log. The admission filled me with guilt, both for having to discuss such intimate details and for having betrayed him. He is now complicit in the crime of extramarital sex.

I remained in prison for 36 days. Now I am awaiting trial. On my release I was reminded, "Be thankful to God that we arrested you. If you had been detained by the intelligence department of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, they would surely have beaten you. Here you were our guest."

Before I departed I was politely asked to fill out a form seeking suggestions for improving conditions in the jail.