Iranian citizen journalist has fun challenging regime

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

By day, Amir pores over data on nuclear safety at a European research institute in pursuit of his doctorate in neutron imaging.

Amir's blog lampoons Iranian life: "The morality police van came to the beach and arrested a number of people. After getting stuck in the sand, everyone had to come out to push it out. It's the story of Iran."
Amir’s blog lampoons Iranian life: “The morality police van came to the beach and arrested a number of people. After getting stuck in the sand, everyone had to come out to push it out. It’s the story of Iran.”

But by night, he becomes a witty, tech-savvy citizen journalist who floods the Persian-language cyberspace with news and information about his native Iran with “a twist of humor.” It keeps him up to speed with the country he loves but dares not return to, Amir says, for fear of arrest over his web activism.

“I try to cover issues that cannot be reported by domestic media” because of censorship efforts by Tehran’s clerically dominated postrevolutionary leadership, says the 30-something grad student, who left Iran around seven years ago to study abroad and posts under the pseudonym Mamlekate.

In one recent post to Telegram, the de rigueur messaging app these days for privacy-minded Iranians, Amir shared a poignant window on modern Iran. Contributed by an unnamed contact in Iran, the snapshot shows a group of people trying to push a marked police van across a sandy beach in northern Iran.

“The morality police van came to the beach and arrested a number of people. After getting stuck in the sand, everyone had to come out to push it out. It’s the story of Iran,” Amir captioned the photo, which has been shared and viewed thousands of times.

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