The March 18 Movement was born out of a tragedy. On this day in 2009, Omid Reza Mir Sayafi, Iranian blogger and journalist, died in Evin Prison in Tehran. The December before his death, he was sentenced to two and half years in prison for allegedly insulting religious leaders, and engaging in “propaganda” against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Omid Reza was the first blogger to die in prison and his death reveals that getting censored is far from the worst thing that can happen to a blogger.
The irony is that, as more members of both the public and the media praise the ability of bloggers to inform, the more these de facto journalists around the globe become victims in fact. The March 18 Movement aims not only to make sure that Omid Reza is remembered, but also that other persecuted bloggers around the world do not disappear into interrogation rooms and prison cells. The March 18 Movement would like to become a voice for bloggers everywhere who are in risk of being crushed under the heavy machinery of repression.
This day, in memorial to Omid Reza, is dedicated to all bloggers around the world who run real risks simply to tell the truth as they see it. The March 18 Movement seeks to actively expand our sense of self to encompass those of us who are in danger and to extend the protections normally accorded to journalists to all those who spend their time and intellectual capital in sharing information about our world.
Please help spread the word!