by Fariba Amini, IJNet staff writer
Things haven’t been easy for Arash Sigarchi. At the age of 27, he was sent to prison for writing articles criticizing the leader of the Islamic Republic and aspects of life in Iran. He was first sentenced to 14 years, charged with “insulting Mr. Khamenei in his writings ,collaboration with hostile governments, giving interviews to foreign media, and incitement of the public mind.” His sentence was subsequently commuted to 3 years, of which he has served 14 months. During his time in prison, he found a lump in his mouth. It was cancer. He underwent an operation to excise the tumor as a result of which he lost part of his tongue. When he was in prison, his brother, Ashkan was also killed in a car accident while carrying a letter on behalf of Sigarchi to one of his lawyers, Ms. Shirin Ebadi. Ashkan, an accomplished musician, was just 26 years old. It was a terrible tragedy for the entire Sigarchi family.
Even though life has been unfair, Sigarchi never let tragedy get the better of him. He never became bitter or angry. He never stopped having a positive outlook in life. Moreover, he never lost his passion for journalism.
Sigarchi began his career in journalism when he was just 15 years old. A native of the Gilan province of northern Iran, he gained acclaim for his work as editor of Gilan Emrooz, the province’s major newspaper. When he was no longer able to publish the kind of stories he wanted to in the paper, he decided to start a blog called Panjereh Eltehab, which means “window of anxiety.” For his courage and dedication in the field of journalism in Iran, Arash Sigarchi received the Hellman/Hammett award in 2007. Now he live in USA.
In the day that Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , king of Iran take celebrity him birthday , Arash Sigarchi was born ; means 26 October 1978.
Arash Sigarchi the Iranian Journalist and blogger was born in Rasht City center of Gilan province in north of IRAN that have 300 Km distance from Tehran (capital of IRAN)
He fond very soon to reporter and he started this job with a sport newspaper in only 16 years. Thereupon , He went to Tehran for study in university. He activity in Reporter of political and social proficiency in Tehran `s professional newspapers. “Sigarchi” have presence in reformist newspapers as a journalist Simultaneous with come president Mr. Khatami .
Sigarchi was a analyzing and author for reformist newspaper. He owned very experiences in that years. He wined in Iranian press festival 10th and 11th in branch of Interview and political article.
The forty newspapers arrested by the Iranian leaders`s injunction in a day at 2000. Sigarchi was unemployed as others journalists. He comeback to his birthplace Rasht City and he operated a new newspaper with 16 pages ; that name was “Gilan e Emrooz” (means Gilan Today). He used his experiences in this newspaper and it extended to more sale at the country in during his Editorship. His newspaper between local newspaper of IRAN was the best for Three years.
To increased my experience , I opening my special site ( www.sigarchi.com ).in this site , I publish my written and my family news. My father, my brothers and my uncle are musician. In this site I have a blog as “Panjare Eltehab“ (means Window of Anguish).
Sigarchi in the 5 years editorship of GilanToday instructed journalism to 60 persons at two method : scientific and tentative. They are active in many newspaper in IRAN now.
“Sigarchi” operate a blog at 1999 befor start brunt of censorship on the Iranian press. he written in his blog Until he cant published his article or news in his newspaper ; Hereinafter he encounter with brunt of censorship. After this accidence , he was a famous Iranian blogger in Internet. Iran `s intelligence service decided For Confliction with “Sigarchi” for this reason.
They sallied to his home in first time , for Activity in blogging and try for promotion of “freedom of expression” and prevalence of “professional journalism” in IRAN by “Arash Sigarchi”. They removed his computer , books , handwritten and other personal tools. after this conflict , they prisoned “Arash” in desember of 2004 and sentence he to 14 years prison in 4 January 2005.
Iran `s reign was be impel for freedom of “Arash” from jail in march 2005 after remonstrance of many Iranian and universal journalists and bloggers and world liberals like Ms. “Shirin Ebadi” (peace Nobel Prizewinners in 2003) too . she was attorney of “sigarchi” in court.
After 9 month , in December 2005 , revision court lessened “Arash” condemnation from 14 to 3 years and they sanded “Arash” to jail. Don’t long time from presence of “Arash” in prison , yet that his brother , “AShkan Sigarchi” deceased in a accident. He was a famous Iranian musician and pursued case of “Arash”.
This Shock and pressures of prison afforded Arash was be sick after a year. He had a bad tumor in his tongue. That was a bad cancer!
Arash become to leave from prison for remedy With protest of bloggers and journalists. He do chemotherapy , surgery and radio therapy in last six month. He is ok now and he wait for end of his condemnation. He have many program for future .
“Arash Sigarchi” is a poet and auther. He has a poem book as namely “Inebriety Vainglory”. He has e two collection of story that cant published in IRAN. “Arash” has not permit for publish. Don’t let censorship!
Arash Sigarchi elected in two press Festival in Iran at 2004 / 2005 for his Interviews and political articles.
After Prison , Human Right watch elected for activity in freedom of expression in Iran at 2006.(read this news here)