Global Voices report the sad news that Iranian blogger Omid Reza Mir Sayafi has died in prison.
Omid Reza Mir Sayafi, who had been sentenced to 30 months prison for insulting Islamic Republic Leaders last month, died in prsion today. Human Rights Activists in Iran site says[fa] the reason for his death has not been announced but he was in very bad psychological condition.
It seems as if Omid wasn’t a political blogger, which makes this thing even worse. Committee to Protect Bloggers found this on the Reporters Without Borders website:
His lawyer, Mohamed Ali Dadkhah, was informed of the blogger’s death by a doctor, Hesem Firozi, who is himself imprisoned. The young blogger had been depressed and no longer able to cope with prison conditions. The doctor said, “The death of this young blogger is entirely due to a failure to provide assistance.” Omidreza Mirsayafi had been devastated at the prison authorities’ refusal to allow him permission to leave the prison.
Most of the articles on Mirsayafi’s blog were about traditional Persian music and about culture. After his conviction, he told Reporters Without Borders, “I am a cultural and not a political blogger. Of all the articles I have posted online, only two or three were satirical. I did not mean to insult anyone.”
Iranian prisons are known for their harsh conditions, and there are reports of torture as well. No matter what, this is truly a sad story, and what makes it worse is that Omid wasn’t a political blogger. There are no excuses for actions like this, no matter what you write about, but Omid’s fate certainly sounds like a really bad luck.
Committee to Protect Bloggers has an unconfirmed set of events leading to Omid’s death up. If that one is correct, prison authorities surely has some blame in this.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.