Home War Against God: This Week in Online Tyranny

War Against God: This Week in Online Tyranny

Shiva Nazar Ahari is said to be facing a charge of moharebeh. Ahari is a blogger, human rights activist and editor of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters website, currently imprisoned in Iran. Moharebeh is an Islamic legal term meaning warring against God. In Iran it is a death-penalty offense. Using God as a tool for imprisoning and executing opponents of the state is a common one, not just in Iran.

Originally arrested on June 14th, last year, Ahari spent over three months in jail, finally being released in September of last year on $200,000 bail. After she was released she said she’d stay in Iran at any cost. She was re-arrested in December and has remained behind bars ever since. There has been no explanation for her arrest. Her trial is set to begin on September 4th.

Singapore arrests Facebook user. Singaporean Abdul Malik Ghazali, 27, was arrested for “inciting violence” against a government official. Looking at the situation it seems pretty clear that the Singapore police have overreacted. Ghazali posted criticism on his Facebook account of the Youth Olympic Games – an international sporting event that has turned out very poorly with poor ticket sales and Singapore faring badly. Far from alone in his distaste for sports minister Vivian Balakrishnan that people should “burn” her and Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party. “Rally together and vote them out!!!” He said he never meant to metaphorical incitement to be taken as real, and frankly, I doubt it ever was.

Apple is applying for a patent on spyware. Intending to outfit its gadgets with it, Apple is applying for a spyware patent that will let the company know when a user has jailbroken it. Smarting from a fair use ruling that most interpret as legalizing jailbreaking a phone to let it run non-proprietary software, Apple recently declared that jailbreaking would void a user’s warranty. Now, they apparently are turning to less sanguine methods of control. If it goes through, Apple will spy on you. If it doesn’t like what you’re doing, it will destroy the device you bought.

Iranians file suit against Nokia Siemens for human rights abuses.

Isa Saharkhiz and his son, Mehdi Saharkhiz, filed suit in U.S. Federal Court last week against Nokia Siemens Networks and its parent companies, Nokia and Siemens. Isa Saharkhiz was arrested by Iranian security, who monitored his mobile phone activity in the wake of the contested Iranian elections last year. They tortured him. U.S. and other western companies are integral to the repressive regimes of countries like Iran. Nokia responds here.

Rotten apple photo by Alison E. Dunn

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