Shortly after this interview, Hamzoz’s phone was seized in Tahir Square by individuals allegedly linked to Iraqi security forces. He was assaulted and received threats via Facebook and email. But to date, he has not ceased publishing.
In today’s podcast, Mark talks with young Iraqi digital media activist Hayder Hamzoz. They discuss current conditions of repression in Iraq for new media political activism. Hamzoz runs the blog Iraqi Streets 4 Change, which documents peaceful public dissent in order to push the Iraqi government to expedite democratic reforms. He also works on Salam Shabab, a United States Institute of Peace reality show that profiles Iraqi youth. Mark, President and Co-founder of Digital Democracy, trains Iraqi groups to empower themselves with open-source technology.
Hamzoz, 22, reiterates his dedication to a citizen journalism that can spur wider acceptance of free speech—as well as anti-corruption awareness, and better collaboration between civil society and NGOs. Hamzoz asserts that his role is truly a vocation; an unpaid, unflinching endeavor driven by passionate patriotism.