A Letter to UN about IRI Blocking of Political Sites



The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)  has forced the ISPs and ICPs of Iran to filter thousands of political web sites.  This is an outright violation of human rights in Iran.  A country is not the private property of a state, that any state can allow itself to block the Internet access of the country's Internet users.  The IRI claims that it is blocking the pornographic sites.  Even blocking such sites is not the right of any state to do.  Parents in a house can decide to block pornographic sites on their own computer which is their private property.  A company may decide to filter such sites on its computers which are company property.  But the state has no right to make this decision for the country, because a country is not the private property of state offices.


Even as far as pornographic sites, if an ISP decides to filter pornographic sites, it must be a business decision and people can decide to be the customer of that ISP or not.  It will be a business decision of that ISP which will determine its customers.  Even a government-owned ISP can decide to just allow the IRI-sanctioned sites to be accessed, and nobody will subscribe to such an ISP, the same way the Iranian people do not watch the government TV stations.  But the government has no right to force independent ISP's and ICP's to block what the government deems inappropriate, because the ISP's and ICP's are to serve their customers and are not the systems administrators of the state.


The action of Islamic Republic of Iran to block the Internet sites is in total violation of principles of human rights and must be stopped.  IRI is using the excuse of pornographic sites to block the most respected political sites of IRI opposition, which the people in Iran are interested to read every day, and as noted, even for pornographic sites, the state has no right to force ISP's to block access to any web sites.  The United Nations and all the human rights organizations around the world need to take action about this new attack of Islamic Republic of Iran on the human rights of the Iranian people.


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
May 19, 2003


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