March 22, 2010

By Sofia Sanchez
University of New Mexico/Talk Radio News Service

Human rights activists met on Monday to call attention to the abuse of power by the Iranian government towards the NGO Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA).

Their main concern is whether or not Iranian Security forces carried out internet attacks against HRA websites, as well as personal computers belonging to members of the group.

“The raids of March 2 and 3, 2010 led to the arrest of thirty human rights activists. The HRA members and other activists arrested are being held incommunicado in unknown locations,” said Leila R. Milani with Human Rights Activists in Iran.

According to HRA, the so-called “cyber-warfare” was conducted by units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IROC). HRA members say they have been labeled by IROC officials on television programs as being enemies of the state.

“The state run television has done a number of programs on the HRA providing falsified and fabricated information about its members and leadership, waging full scale propaganda… using personal photographs illegally obtained from members’ computers,” said Milani.

HRA says these attacks are not just happening in Iran, but also on American soil.

“These attacks, some of which were done in American soil, involved hacking into servers used by HRA…leading to unauthorized access to membership lists, theft of critical information and shutting down of more than twenty-five news and human rights websites,” Milani added.

According to the HRA, its members who are being detained have not been able to contact their families, nor have they had access to attorneys or medical care.