Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Iranian City Council member to resign due to a Facebook photo

posted in:

A female member of Iranian city council is being forced to resign due to posting an unveiled

picture of herself in her private Facebook page.

According to Jaras, a dissident Iranian website, Mrs. Mehrnoush Najafi, a member of city

council in Hamedan (west of Iran) is under pressure to resign as a matter of uploading a private

picture of herself in which she was not wearing Hijab and her hair was not covered.

Mrs. Najafi who is a reformist lawyer and webloger wrote earlier in her weblog “ I had put a

photo of myself on Facebook in which my hair was not covered. It was not put in a public

section but was meant to be private only open to my family…then some people got access to

my photo and I was told to silently resign., but I have not done anything wrong and I rejected to

do so. Now they are trying to fire me”.

Meanwhile websites of hardliners in Iran published an interview of Hamedan province governor

with Fars new agency, a news broadcasting service which is said to be close to IRGC or

Sepah Pasdaran the elite forces of Islamic Republic Regime. (the interview was un posted

hours later from Fars website but it is still accessible in several other websites of the right wing.

“If members of Islamic City Council commit any thing that violates Islamic or domestic laws, they

must ask for apology. We will not remain silent on these sorts of violation and will follow a

jurisdiction process.” Said the governor and is published in right wing website GhatrehMrs.

Najafi believes that the action is a designed scenario for retaliation against her speech in a

gathering of reformists in presence of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani.

“On November 8th 2012, I had a speech and some people did not like what I said. Since then I

received massages that they will retaliate. Now they are using my private photo as a pressure

item to force me to resign.”

Mrs. Najafi can be considered the first official in Islamic Republic who is being a victim of

Facebook activities. While several other people have been arrested or lost their lives under

torture due to Facebook and weblog activities.

It seems that she is being retaliated due to her support for reformist and Hashemi Rafsanjani.

As for the next presidential election in June 2013, the effective remaining reformist are being

ruled out.Meanwhile Iran remains an enemy of Facebook. The popular social network is

prohibited and filtered in Iran and accessing it is impossible without special programs. It is said

that Facebook is highly monitored by Iranian Cyber Police and intelligence community to spot

activists and criticizers.

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