Iran: Expatriates exchanged ideas, or relayed on news are being arrested

Posted on February 2, 2012 • Filed under: Expatriates, Middle East, Tourist Warning

“I could hear her make prisoners laugh. Sometimes, she even made the guards laugh.” This is what a former prisoner remembers of Zahra Bahrami, who, she says, was lively, kind to her fellow prisoners, and defiant towards the guards. (Boroumand Foundation interview with a former political prisoner, January 2012). One year ago in one of the last days of January 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the execution of Zahra Bahrami, an Iranian-Dutch citizen visiting Iran. Bahrami is one of many Iranian expatriates punished following an unfair judicial process. Over the years, several Iranians with dual citizenship who worked with the Iranian civil society, facilitated exchanges of ideas, or relayed news coming from Iran, have been arrested. Some have been released thanks to sustained international pressure. Others however, are still serving prison sentences, or are on death row, such as Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-Canadian computer programmer. The government message is clear: communicating independently with Iranians or echoing their voices is not allowed. And it works. Read article

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