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Iran blocks WikiLeaks

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Thu Jul 16 20:37:43 GMT 2009

"Iran blocks Wikileaks"

Iran has blocked the main addresses of the whistleblower site WikiLeaks. In doing so, it has crossed an important human rights line.

A middle-sized developing country, such as Iran, which is faced with wealthy adversaries, may argue that it needs to censor "enemy media" in order to maintain itself as an independent nation.

Since 2007 the United States has publicly earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars for Iranian destabilization efforts, a good portion of which has gone into funding anti-government media.

You can read about one such US-Israeli media effort exposed by WikiLeaks here.

While funding for farsi media outside of Iran can be well intentioned, often this funding is concealed and comes from Iran's long standing adversaries. Unfortunately such efforts have the side effect of legitimizing Iranian trans-border censorship.

Yet whatever concerns Iran has with foreign destabilization campaigns, its blocking of WikiLeaks can not be justified.

Far from being an anti-Iranian propaganda site, WikiLeaks has often exposed other countries' plans actions or plans in relation to Iran. And while much of the anglophone press ran clearly fabricated documents showing a Mousavi landslide in the country's Presidential elections, WikiLeaks did not (this is not to say that there was no election fraud).

But Iran has not blocked WikiLeaks to stop foreign influence pouring into the country. It has blocked WikiLeaks to try and prevent Iranian whistleblowers getting the truth out.

In censorship terms, the blocking of WikiLeaks is Iran's Berlin wall moment; it is not an attempt to keep enemies out, rather, it is an attempt to lock Iranians in, and as such must be condemned.

See also Serious nuclear accident may lay behind Iranian nuke chief's mystery resignation.

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