Tom is a member of NedaNet a group that is trying to get truth of what is going in Iran. He is one of the many NedaNet members who have been harassed because of his beliefs. Earlyer this week he recived a death threat that makes reference to his "support of the supposed traitor mousavi, it also makes refernece to the face that his is an iranian internal affair and it makes reference to my death." Ben another member of NedaNet was also harassed. "They threw rocks out of a car and none hit me. The whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds, tops. Yelled, threw rocks, yelled, I was behind cover, they drove off. Annoyed me, caused a great deal of worry, and put me on edge since, but physically I'm fine."
Who would do this? "There are sympathizers of the Iranian regime in the west who are likely ideologically motivated and probably represent a significant threat and probably represent a significant" Tom claims.
Peter: Explain the situation.
Tom: there are a large number of people that feel that, once a people have chosen freedom for themselves, and are being oppressed in their efforts, it's the duty of free people to help. some people feel more strongly about this than others NedaNet feels more strongly. so we decided to help. this is not necessarily a popular opinion among some especially those that thing otherwise; and when we started this, we didn't really think being anonymous was important because we didnt entirely realize the depth of this many of us have corrected this mistake because we've started receiving threats some more credible than others.
Peter: Explain some theats.
Tom: Well, I personally for example, at first received ethemeral messages; you know, chat rooms, etc, telling me that I was..what did they say i supported the traitor mousavi this is an iranian affair i am a westerner and this is about islam etc most recently, i've received a death threat to my voicemail these things, depending on their severity, are often cleverly worded to skirt the law. others in my my group have received similar threats and at least one has been physically attacked
Peter: What is NedaNet?
Tom: NedaNet is a collaboration of people, who at the moment, do a variety of things that we can to help the people in iran keep their line sof communications open we actually do quite a number of things let me try to list some of them the most obvious thing of course is to provide things like proxy servers tor bridges anything to subvert the communications blockage in iran we also try to generally make sure that the message coming out of iran isn't manipulated there are a lot of subversive elements here in the western world, that, for whatever reason, decide to try to spread misinformationor re-paint the picture some of us go a bit further and act as advisors in general on matters of operational security to the people in iran. i can't comment very deeply on that our role isnt static we are willing to adapt anything we find that we can legally do here in the united states, we are willing to give a try to help these people that's just a limited set of options sometimes the common denominator is all of us have at least some contact with iran, or someone who is in contact with someone in iran and we try to fix the problems they have that is a good general description and by the iranians, i of course mean the revolutionaries and protesters, subversives, etc but we promote non-violent means as a group. individuals may feel differently. i dont know
Peter: Why do this?
Tom: i have to note on this question that these are my personal beliefs i suspect many members of the group may share some or all of them at the very least some i dont know, you know, i dont think democracy can be exported by force of arms i dont think it lasts i consider freedom, the idea of personal liberties fair government these things, i consider them as a sort of social evolution not to say that societies which are not free are unevolved there is a certain set of conditions and a certain level of suffering you must have gone through to really have it make sense to choose freedom as a society and that is a big, big step for many countries and it has a huge learning curve. for those of us who understand the brittle line between freedom and tyranny,there is a moral requirement, of sorts, to do everything we can to help granted, we deficient in some definition or another; we're not over there protesting with them but these are, in the scope of things, simple things. a few hours of our time every day that we could contritube to perhaps liberate a people. it's the right thing to do, simply. [ i dont want to call them security personnel they dont deserve that title but these people are killing unarmed civilians in the street beating them to death, shooting them, terrorizing innocent people with their brutality if we dont get this message out, who will?
Peter:Who would want to harm people like you?
Tom:[00:16] there are three groups of people that i think may want to harm us there are people who do it simple to be malicious, i.e. trolls, etc but they would probably not resort to physical harm. there are sympathizers of the iranian regime in the west who are likely ideologically motivated and probably represent a significant threat and probably represent a significant threat and then thereis the possibly of centrally directed action by VEVAK (iranian intelligence), or similiar. which also represents a significant threat. and the question of why? We are effective. it's working information is getting out videos are getting out, showing horrible attrocities people can coordinate their activities, organize rallies stories are getting out of personal tragedy and the brutality, corruption, and lack of moral responsibility of the iranian government the most potent example of this is Neda that poor girl who just wanted to live freely her story is on the web now we have a photo of her death and the coldhearted brutality ofhow she was murdered she is not unique in that! many are dying this way, will die this way. someone has to speak for them we can't let them get away with it. so we don't; we work well at getting information out of the country, at the very least we do our best at coordinating activities in iran and we are having a lot of success i think that's why they want to scare us out of the way if not worse
Peter:Can you sum up the death threat?
Tom: I have been advised by the police to not give out too much information about it. I can say in summary, it makes reference to my support of the supposed traitor mousavi, it makes refernece to the face that his is an iranian internal affair and it makes reference to my death.
Peter::Anything else people should know?
Tom: well i think people need to be aware that many of these forces are not just national this is an international matter while we encourage democracy, others discourge it and you cant say oh this doesnt happen here, i'm an american because that is a falsehood of comfort it's simply not true this effects all peoples of the world if we dont defend the right of other people to choose their own destiny nobody will defend ours if we ever need them to.
Peter: Thank you for your time.
Peter: Is it true you were assulted?
Peter: Why do you believe you were assaulted?
Ben: Because some guys were reading up on the Iranian thing, much as we were, only their sites were pro-ahmadinejad, or pro-old regime, or something. They saw that one of the people was close to them, and figured they'd do their part to help their side. I *don't* think it was iranian government agents or a serious attack. Just some guys doing the same thing I'm doing, albeit in a way bit familiar to them.
Peter: How did they assult you?
Ben: They threw rocks out of a car and none hit me. It was ineffective and weird. Whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds, tops. Yelled, threw rocks, yelled, I was behind cover, they drove off. Annoyed me, caused a great deal of worry, and put me on edge since, but physically I'm fine.
Peter: Anything else we should know?
Ben: A few other people have received death threats, most were probably jokes, or similar situations as the one I think happened to me; just some guys being assholes.
Peter: I think that raps this up. Thanks.
Ben: No problem.