Hoder in Jail in Iran

Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been arrested by Iranian security (h/t Harry’s Place).

Hoder – as he was widely known in the blogs is another OG blogger who has lived in Canada for some time to keep himself out of the hands of the Iranian police. While anti-mullah, he’s resolutely pro-Iranian, and we’ve actually knocked heads a bit on that.

The Guardian writes:

A prominent Iranian blogger has been arrested in Tehran and accused of spying for Israel after visiting the country with the aim of being “a bridge between Iranian and Israeli people”.

Hossein Derakhshan, 33, was reported by the Iranian website Jahan News to have confessed during initial interrogations to being involved in espionage.

The Jahan News site, which is widely believed to be linked to the Iranian intelligence services, also said he had been described in Jewish newspaper articles as a “friend of Israel”.

Derakhshan is known in Iran as the Blogfather after effectively launching the country’s craze for blogging. He has claimed 20,000 people a day read his postings.

He holds joint Iranian-Canadian citizenship and left Tehran for Toronto in 2000 after hardline opponents of then president, Mohammad Khatami, closed down the reformist newspapers he worked on. He also lived in London for a while.

Derakhshan had returned to Tehran three weeks ago. His blogs, in Persian and English, have been suspended.

One thought on “Hoder in Jail in Iran”

  1. He is also an emeritus member of Winds of Change.NET. I have been fortunate enough to meet him personally, since we were both living in the same place for a while.

    We disagreed rather sharply on a number of things, not least of which was, ironically, what I felt to be sucking up to the regime on a number of issues. But I have never lost my respect for what he did for Iranians, in launching the Farsi blogosphere.

    Given standard O.P. in Iran, vid the “Zara Kazemi case”:http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/zahra_kazemi_truth_at_last.php it’s reasonable to assume that the confession was tortured out of him. Were I him, I would never have returned to Iran under the present regime, but the place of one’s birth and family exerts a different kind of pull on people that I can understand.

    This incident should serve to sharply point up 2 things:

    [1] The nature of the people we are dealing with in the Iranian regime;

    [2] Connected to #1, the futility of assuming that people who will arrest and torture a Canadian for peace activities, will have their aggressive activities changed in any substantial way by diplomacy or other half-measures.

    Hoder disagreed, and effectively bet on that disagreement. I hope he returns alive.

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