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[liberationtech] Shahrzad News: "Zahra Bahrami betrayed by chat-room conversations", say friends

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Wed Aug 29 22:08:19 PDT 2012


http://www.shahrzadnews.org/index.php?page=2&articleId=3255&Language=en

 "Zahra Bahrami betrayed by chat-room conversations", say friendsShahrzad
News, August 29, 2012

 Dutch-Iranian citizen Zahra Bahrami was arrested in Iran in 2010 and
executed the following January on charges of drug-smuggling and endangering
national security. Family and friends say she took part in an anti-regime
demonstration in Tehran on Ashura, a day of religious mourning, and was
arrested by security forces later the same day. Bahrami’s lawyer Nasrin
Sotoodeh was also arrested and is still in prison.

*Shahrzad News:* Dutch-Iranian citizen Zahra Bahrami was arrested in Iran
in 2010 and executed the following January on charges of drug-smuggling and
endangering national security. Family and friends say she took part in an
anti-regime demonstration in Tehran on Ashura, a day of religious mourning,
and was arrested by security forces later the same day. Bahrami’s lawyer
Nasrin Sotoodeh was also arrested and is still in prison.
.
Zahra Bahrami’s private conversations with friends and family were
compromised by her use of social media such as
Paltalk<http://www.shahrzadnews.org/Admin/ww.paltalk.com>
 and Bayluxe <http://bayluxe-video-chat.fyxm.net/>, leading eventually to
her arrest and execution. Two internet users in Germany and Iran have now
revealed themselves to have been friends of hers, and in the last months
before she returned to Iran, they had been communicating with her through
social media sites. Their statements about Zahra’s confidential contacts
and personal life conform to reports that have appeared in the Dutch media.

The two people – whose identities Shahrzad News is withholding for security
reasons –shared information with online friends in a Paltalk forum used by
120 others. Paltalk, a social media network through which people can
communicate with one another verbally and visually through chat-rooms, has
been used extensively by Iranians since 2000. During its early years the
network was used mainly by opposition and dissident groups, but in recent
times pro-regime users have inundated the network in an organised way, and
now even hold conferences and religious ceremonies on it.

One of two says he was interviewed about Bahrami by the English-language
department of the Dutch international broadcaster Radio Netherlands. The
55-year-old, who lives in Iran, had been a close friend of Zahra since
their teenage years, and also knows her family well. The two met on several
occasions after her return to the country. After her arrest he himself was
picked up by the security forces, but later released. During interrogation
the security forces mentioned subjects he had talked about with Bahrami via
the Paltalk and Bayluxe chat-rooms.

Iranians who use Paltalk say Bayluxe is run by an Iranian based in Canada.
According to an experienced user of Paltalk known to Shahrzad News, the
software used by Bayluxe means the identity of its users can be tracked.
Most users of this network have little understanding of computer technology
or internet theft.
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