After Imprisonment for Blogging About Women’s Rights, Iranian Teen Set Free

Bloggers are powerful people. Don’t believe it? Iranian officials feared the power of a blogger so much, they had 18-year-old Navid Mohebbi arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for the desperate crime of keeping a blog supporting women’s rights. If words on a blog didn’t have great powers of change, why would they be so afraid of a teenager’s musings?

Since we first covered Navid’s imprisonment, hundreds of members signed on to a petition from A Safe World for Women, demanding the release of this admirable young defender of women’s rights. On Christmas Day, that petition was successful.

Benjamin Joffe-Walt writes on the Human Rights cause that Navid received three years suspended sentence. “Suspended sentence” means unlock the cell doors, the boy’s going free. Joffe-Walt refers to this as “likely a face-saving tactic by Iranian authorities” acting in response to pressure from international and domestic human and women’s rights activists — and coverage from other scary blogs, while the mainstream media largely missed the story. Mighty bloggers unite!

Christine Crowstaff, Founder of A Safe World for Women, told this morning, “Our Iran correspondent sends you many thanks for all you have done for Navid! And so do we all!” Yes, thanks to the over 600 members who took part in calling for Navid’s release. And thanks to women’s rights advocates like A Safe World for Women, who turned out in force in defense of one of their male allies in the battle for gender justice.

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