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WORLD BRIEFING / IRAN : Police unit to monitor websites

November 15, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Iran has deployed a special police unit to monitor websites for political material and prosecute those deemed to be spreading lies, Iranian media reported.

Many opposition websites are already banned. But the new 12-member unit, which will report to the prosecutor's office, seems to signal an effort to crack down harder on those who refuse to accept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection, tainted by allegations of fraud, in June.

The protest movement initially saw thousands pouring into the streets in June and July to press claims that opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi was the rightful winner. But the movement was swept back by a harsh security crackdown. Media restrictions kept reporters from witnessing scenes in the streets.

Activists' presence on the Internet, however, kept the spotlight on the crackdown for weeks as people went online to post updates and amateur video on sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

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