Repression of bloggers seems to have declined in 2006. Whereas around 20 were imprisoned in 2005, only Arash Sigarchi is in jail at the moment. But Internet filtering has stepped up and Iran today boasts of filtering 10 million “immoral” websites. Pornographic sites, political sites and those dealing with religion are usually the ones most targeted. But since the summer of 2006, the censors have concentrated on online publications dealing with women’s rights. The authorities also recently decided to ban broadband connections. This could be explained by a concern not to overload the very poor-quality Iranian network, but it could also be motivated by a desire to prevent the downloading of Western cultural products such as films and songs.
2005 Internet press releases:
20 December 2005 - Thirteen deputies protest to President Ahmadinejad over Internet censorship
11 July 2005 - Blogger cleared of "insult to prophets" but still guilty of "insulting Supreme Guide"
15 June 2005 - After eight years of Mohammad Khatami, next president urged to promote press freedom
4 May 2005 - Holy city of Qom is hell for bloggers
29 March 2005 - Pregnant blogger Najmeh Oumidparvar freed after 24 days in prison
17 March 2005 - Reporters Without Borders welcomes release of blogger Arash Sigarchi
17 February 2005 - World Summit on the Information Society - bloggers and cyber-dissidents offer advice
31 January 2005 - Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad freed
25 January 2005 - American host cuts off Iranian press agency ISNA
20 January 2005 - Journalist and weblogger arrested
10 January 2005 - Online journalist Javad Gholam Tamayomi released
6 January 2005 - Reporters Without Border condemns mistreatment of cyberjournalists and webloggers