Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Americans are so enamoured of equality they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”     Alexis de Tocqueville

December 3, 2009

Evil Doesn’t Need Warrantless Wiretaps — They Have Facebook

by Brad Warbiany

It’s not often when I come across something so bone-chillingly despicable that I want to post about it but can offer nothing to say beyond the mere actions taken… So look at what Iran is doing:

His first impulse was to dismiss the ominous email as a prank, says a young Iranian-American named Koosha. It warned the 29-year-old engineering student that his relatives in Tehran would be harmed if he didn’t stop criticizing Iran on Facebook.

Two days later, his mom called. Security agents had arrested his father in his home in Tehran and threatened him by saying his son could no longer safely return to Iran.

“When they arrested my father, I realized the email was no joke,” said Koosha, who asked that his full name not be used.

Tehran’s leadership faces its biggest crisis since it first came to power in 1979, as Iranians at home and abroad attack its legitimacy in the wake of June’s allegedly rigged presidential vote. An opposition effort, the “Green Movement,” is gaining a global following of regular Iranians who say they never previously considered themselves activists.

The regime has been cracking down hard at home. And now, a Wall Street Journal investigation shows, it is extending that crackdown to Iranians abroad as well.

In recent months, Iran has been conducting a campaign of harassing and intimidating members of its diaspora world-wide — not just prominent dissidents — who criticize the regime, according to former Iranian lawmakers and former members of Iran’s elite security force, the Revolutionary Guard, with knowledge of the program.

That’s just the start of it. Working with several Iranian ex-pats (who left in the wake of the Revolution), I wonder exactly how much they must value the freedom of living in America. But most of them still have family back home, and while the regime can’t touch them here on our shore, they can still reach deep inside and threaten those who my coworkers most care about.

I don’t often throw out words like “evil.” But there is little else to describe trying to silence critics abroad by threatening their innocent families in their homeland.

Hat Tip: Coyote Blog

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