Radio France Internationale:
After three months of imprisonment, it was clear that Mohammad Soleimani Nia’s resistance against the ministry’s persistence on taking control over “the social networking site of Iranian Professionals (U24)” has led to his arrest. Soleimani Nia, founder of Iran’s first private ISP, designer and host of nearly 40 websites and translator of the book “Funny in Farsi” is in his second hunger strike.
Mohammad Soleimani Nia – محمد سلیمانی نیا
Reporters Without Borders has called Mohammad Soleimani Nia as “one of the victims of the National Internet” in a statement.
Following Soleimani’s resistance against these demands, he was secretly detained by the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security on January 10 last year. For nearly two months nobody had known of his whereabouts.
When the investigators failed to take control of the social networking site, he was forced to take the website down.
After nearly two months Soleimani Nia started his hunger strike in protest to his uncertain situation, prolonged periods of solitary confinement, being cut off from the outside world and the pressures.
Since Soleimani’s physical conditions could not tolerate a hunger strike his caseworker agreed with his move to Section 209 of Evin Prison.
During that time, Soleimani’s caseworker repeatedly promised meetings with his family, which he later denied. Finally, the family’s efforts resulted in few phone calls and a limited cabin meeting under supervision of the investigators.
In the latest response to Soleimani’s hunger strike, instead of addressing his case, Judge Beigi, one of the authorities in the case in Branch 14 of Tehran’s 28 district court has asked him to announce in writing that providing the bail is impossible for him, which is untrue. So they can continue to keep him in custody.
It has been said Iran’s ministery of intelligencve and national security’s efforts in taking control of the social networking site and other websites designed by Soleimani Nia, is indirectly part of the project of setting up a national internet.
While the investigator team have so far failed to charge him with any specific crime, he was forced to provide explanations regarding various sites that have no relation to him.
The social networking site, U24, was launched in April 2007 by Soleimani Nia, to to establish a link between Iranian professionals. U24 was a business-related social networking site with nearly 60 million users that never had any political content.
U24 had become a portal for Iranian professionals where they could uplaod their resumes and publish job vacancies. While Iranian professionals can freely publish their public information on other similar websites, like Facebook, the investigators in Soleimani’s case have forced him to shut the website. The website can be compared to LinkedIn.
Currently, efforts of those military and security agencies that have been commissioned to support the various aspects of the national Internet project, are manifested in illegal pressures, hostage taking and detention of the elite in the areas of information technology.
Now, while Mohammad Soleimani as one of the leading entrepreneurs in the IT is in section 209 of Evin prison, Iran’s supreme leader has declared the new persian year, as “the national year of support for internal production, work and Iranian capital”.
Mohammad Soleimani Nia, launched the first online book store in Iran and is one of the the pioneers among web designers in Iran. He also translated the book “Funny in Farsi”, Written by Firoozeh Dumas, which is one of Iran’s best-selling books in past years.
Translated from : http://www.persian.rfi.fr/node/78583
The Internet specialist is under pressure by the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security to work on the launch of a “national Internet” . In the weeks before his arrest, the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security repeatedly summoned and interrogated Mohammad Soleimani nia to take over control of the websites hosted by him.
Mohammad Soleimani Nia – محمد سلیمانی نیا
12 April 2012 – Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Soleimani Nia.He has been under arrest and interrogations for past three months.
Mohammad Soleimani, was arrested on January 10 after being summoned to court. That same day, security officials searched his house in the city of Karaj and took his personal belongings and documents. The blogger was then kept in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison for a month. According to information collected by RSF (Reportes Without botders) he has been under pressure to work with the ministry’s plans to launch a national Internet. According to his family, Mohammed has started his second hunger strike to protest his detention status. Judicial authorities have not formally charged him, but he has been forced to sign a “no bail allowed” document.
Today, with 19 detained bloggers, Iran is the second largest prisons for journalists and bloggers in the world. Only after China (30 jailed blogger) and before Vietnam (18 web journalist imprisoned). Four bloggers were sentenced to death in Iran.
Partially translated from: http://www.rsf-persan.org/article17204.html