Report from Congressional Briefing “Iran: One Year After Elections
HRANA- A Congressional briefing was held on June 6, 2010 discussing the human rights situation in Iran one year after post election protests began sponsored by the Democracy Council. Shaheen Sariri representing Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) addressed this briefing.
Addressing the briefing which consisted of four panelists, Mr. Sariri provided figures pertaining to the violation of human rights in Iran, specifically over the last year. He went on to highlight issues such as attempts to block the spread of news and information [particularly online], the execution of political prisoners, and steps necessary to help improve the human rights situation in Iran.
In regards to cyber restrictions, Mr. Sariri explained that Iran places restrictions on access by filtering websites to prevent the spread of news on human rights violations in the country. Iran ranks second in the number of websites that are filtered next to China. Mr. Sariri continued by addressing the hacking of websites and jamming of satellite signals by the security forces after post election protests, calling it a form of “cyber terrorism.”
Iran with over 32 million internet users makes up approximately fifty percent of the Middle East’s total users. HRA’s representative urged companies to refrain from selling Iran the technology necessary to monitor and filter internet traffic. In addition, he called on the international community to put in place enforcement mechanisms that would make any violation of human rights costly for the Iranian government.
This briefing, which was broadcasted live on C-SPAN, included representatives from a several different human rights organizations and political advocacy groups.