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Nokia rebuked for giving Iran media monitoring capability

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Poster by Iranian opposition accusing Nokia of supporting censorship in Iran

Today a seminar entitled "The New Political Role of Internet and Mobile Phone: Example Iran" took place in Brussels with the presence of tens of Iranian and European journalists, political analysts and social activists.

Radio Zamaneh correspondent reports that Ben Roome, Nokia-Siemens representative was questioned about the equipment his company has provided for the Islamic Republic government.

In 2008, through a Nokia-Siemens Company agreement with Iran, the Islamic Republic was provided with equipment that gave it the capability to interfere and monitor the messages of protesters. The people in attendance claimed the sale of this equipment to Iranian government led to the incarceration and death of numerous Iranian activists.

In response, Ben Roome stated: "Nokia typically provides the tracking technology to any state that demands it and primarily the equipment was given to Iran without specific knowledge of the precise nature of their government. In 2009, after understanding the actions of Iran, Nokia stopped providing Iran with the equipment."

Former Iranian National Television reporter, Reza Valizadeh dismissed Roome's explanation and called it "Shameful." He also contended that the German government was also aware of this affair and claimed they should apologize to the Iranian people.

Omid Memarian, the International Campaign for Human Rights researcher and other present journalists presented the European Union Parliament with a series of solutions for improving the situation of media in Iran.

Pressing Iran to stop blocking international media networks and restricting the activities of Iranian state television networks abroad were amongst the proposals.

Omid Memarian said that recent energy sanction imposed by the US against Iran were "to the detriment of the people of Iran" and claimed that restricting international travels of Islamic Republic officials could be more effective.

Barbara Lochbihler, Member of European Union Parliament, as the head of the panel about Iran claimed there is widespread solidarity in the region with the issues in Iran, and Daniel Cohen Bendit, Deputy Chief of European Green Party compared the use of internet in Iran with that in China and claimed internet in China stops the government form being able to completely suppress dissent.

Iranian journalist, Delbar Tavakoli stressed the importance of internet in disseminating the news about Iran's recent protests and added that this was done not only by journalists and bloggers but more so by ordinary people.

Another poster by Iranian opposition. Persian text reads: "Nobody is alone"

... Payvand News - 07/02/10 ... --

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