29 September 2010

Iranian "King of the bloggers" sentenced to 19 1/2 years

For me Hossein Derakshan falls in to the category "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". From what I have read of his work ( mainly his Comment is Free articles in the Grauniad) he could certainly write utter rubbish.

What he certainly doesn't deserve is a huge prison sentence. 19 1/2 year prison sentence followed being convicyed of "cooperating with enemy states, making propaganda against the Islamic system of government, promoting small anti-revolutionary groups, managing obscene web sites and insulting Islamic sanctities,".

He had been in detention in Evin prison in Tehran since his arrest on November 1, 2008,

Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, condemned the sentence. "This is the longest sentence issued against a blogger in Iran, and it is solely because of his opinions and blogging. The sentence is meant to send a chilling message to the Iranian youth to stay away from the internet in practicing their freedom of expression,"

A journalist working on a reformist newspaper before emigrating to Canada in 200,Derakhshan set up a blog , titled Editor Myself on i.hoder.com. It gained worldwide attention, particularly for his blog start up guides for fellow Iranians.

He was no stranger to controversy: in 2006 he became what must have been the traveled to Israel on his Canadian passport.

Shortly before his imprisonment Hossein Derakhshan began writing in support of of the regime, However this was not enough to save his skin.

To get an idea of Derakhshan's later work try this index at Comment is Free. Proof positive that a volte face will not save you from a regime like Iran's.

Even if I think much of the CiF writings are utter drivel (check out his critique of Persepolis for a corker of twisted logic!) there is no way the man deserve 19.5 seconds in custody, let alone the appalling sentence handed down by the regime.


James Higham said...

It needs some sort of campaign, Jams. Now I noticed the blogosphere did that with Usmanov but would they get behind this one?

jams o donnell said...

I hope so James

Sean Jeating said...

So, there are already two, Jams.

And that's probably that - as long as Ahmadinejad does not wish to buy Arsenal ...

Claude said...

He's been in jail since 2008 and brutally interrogated. He is Canadian-Iranian. Pen Canada has been sending petitions after petitions to the President, quoting Article 19 (which had been accepted by Iran.) Derakhshan is controversial. But it doesn't matter what he would say, right or wrong, if they decided he will die in an Iranian jail, he will probably die there. And President DingDong is not really in charge of that. Just a puppet. A cruel puppet. But in danger himself.

That's what is being said here, with a lot of swearing words! And some tears...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Quite symbolic that post of yours today. As heard on local radio before reading it:


jams o donnell said...

I wish I could be less cynical about the support he will get Sean.

Claude he may write a load of shite but he should not be in prison. You are right about Ahmadinejad. He is a puppet. He is in deep hock to teh Revolutionary Guards.

A terrible comparison Snoopy