Iran journalist sues Nokia after phone call landed him in jail [telecom]

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Iran journalist Isa Saharkhiz sues Nokia after phone call landed him in jail

  • Staff writers * From: NewsCore * August 26, 2010 2:14PM

AN Iranian journalist is suing phone company Nokia over surveillance technology that helped Iranian authorities track and arrest him, the ABC reported today.

Isa Saharkhiz was captured and sent to jail more than a year ago and his family say has broken ribs from his severe beatings.

The journalist was charged with trying to overthrow the Iranian government because of an article he wrote during last year's opposition protests.

Although Saharkhiz left Tehran and went into hiding authorities managed to track him down after he turned on his Nokia mobile phone briefly to give an interview.

Through his son in New York, the journalist is suing Nokia in a US court on the grounds he was beaten and mistreated because the company knowingly sold its surveillance technology to the Iranian regime, which is renowned for its human rights abuses.

He says the technology, which enables authorities to track mobile phone users, allowed the regime to monitor his phone calls.

"Nokia sold this technology to Iran knowing that it will be used not in the way that it was meant to be," said Saharkhiz's son Mehdi.

"We're talking about a country that all around the world you're not able to sell airplane spare parts to, but Nokia, for making a few more bucks they've risked so many people's lives.

"We're hoping to set a precedent so companies like this don't sell people's rights to make a few more dollars."

Nokia has admitted selling the technology to Iran, which it says is a standard feature for law enforcement, but says Iran is to blame for misusing the technology.

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David Clayton
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