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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Speech denied: City Daily Photo blogger is missing in Tehran

Sunday afternoon, June 28. I've just heard that after more than a week, he is home! The blog and the thoughts still stand. Here is the original post:

Speech denied, Tehran: When I started the Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo blog, I became part of a family of bloggers called City Daily Photo. Last week, one of the family (Tehran 24) was arrested while covering the aftermath of Iran's sham election. His last post was on June 17. A year ago, he was posting from his city like so many others: photos of food, flowers, parks, buildings, businesses, people. Then the elections took place. Life Magazine published his photos on June 20. Today I'm taking part in City Daily Photo's voluntary tribute to the photoblogger's courage and a fervent hope for his imminent safe return. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Speech denied and returned, my photo: The cut end of this cable depicts the sound of five radio stations going silent one day this past year with no warning. I saw it happen. In this photo, there's about a 13-foot drop from the cable to the surface of the muddy water. On the day the cable was cut, a man in a bright yellow rain slicker and face-hiding hat waited until the tide was high, slid purposefully into the bay in a boat with the motor turned off and cut the cable with a saw attached to the end of a pole. I heard the rapid grating sounds against the wires, felt the building rock, leapt up, and after the briefest glance out the window, went to grab my camera. The sabotage had been so well planned that within seconds, he was gone - had rounded the corner of the pilot building and taken off into the anonymity of this description on the waterfront of a fishing town: a human form in a yellow slicker and a small boat.

But he wasn't as obscure as he had hoped. The maritime branch of the County Sheriff's Office came out and the suspect was found. The wires were repaired and re-routed, and within hours, the stations resumed broadcasting, leaving the cut cable end as a memory. No-one seemed to know the motive, but there were suspicions. The tower broadcasts five stations owned by NNB (New Northwest Broadcasting): country music, classic rock, sports talk, and talk radio from both the very liberal and very conservative perspectives. Naturally, they tend to be controversial, and there are some that don't like what they hear. The best guess anyone had at the time is that this free-speech bandit really, really didn't like what he'd been hearing.

Many of us would probably bristle at some of the content that feeds through this equal-opportunity radio tower, but except for the ultra-rare occasion, the chatter goes on as usual. The tower soars into the sky and provides the occasional roost for birds. I hope one day everyone can be as safe commenting on or protesting what they feel is wrong, and I join my wishes that our Tehran reporter will return home safely.


Jarart said...

Wow! Very interesting post! Thanks for the great update.

Jacob said...

Excellent! Very thoughtful and thought provoking.

Small City Scenes said...

Interesting post.
The update is exciting news. Thank you. MB

Mateo said...

I'm glad for your support. I'd like to make you aware of this video. Jump to 00:27:10 if you don't like to watch the whole video. I think this is what most western countries deny but it is all connected.

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