World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Hossein Derakhshan, Iran, jailed since November 2008

Hossein Derakhshan, Iran, jailed since November 2008

Article ID:

17643

Day 16
Country: Iran
Journalist: Hossein Derakhshan
Media: blogger
Jailed since: November 1, 2008

 

Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for the release of all journalists and bloggers imprisoned in #Iran bit.ly/1tkYd7h


Known as the “blogfather” of Iran, Hossein “Hoder” Derakhshan was sentenced to 19 and-a-half years in jail in September 2010, after having already spent two years in the notorious Evin prison outside of Tehran. In 2013, Iranian authorities reduced his sentence to 17 years. Derakhshan was first arrested on November 1, 2008 after returning to Iran from Israel, and was later convicted of “cooperation with hostile states, propagating against the regime, propagation in favor of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, and implementation and management of obscene websites.” Derakhshan 's lawyer and family read about the sentence online.

In December 2010, Derakhshan was temporarily released on short-term furlough set against an “unprecedented” bail of $1.5 million. Prisoners of conscience can receive temporary releases from prison, typically around the springtime Iranian New Year Holidays.

From the first days of the Internet, Derakhshan saw its capacities to act as a tool for social and political reform in Iran, where he moved to in 2000 from Canada as a dual national. His award-winning weblog ‘Editor: Myself’ was the first Farsi-language blog and his step-by-step instructions helped drive the country's teeming blogosphere. Derakhshan also wrote for the Washington Post, Newsweek, BBC World Service, the Guardian, among others.

Iran has long kept tight reins on journalism and strictly controls the entry and movement of foreign journalists within its borders. Prominent journalists often rotate in and out of jail and opposition publications are routinely censored or shut down. Today, Iran has become the leading jailer of journalists worldwide with 35 reporters behind bars as-of December 2013, according the Committee to Protect Journalists.

After eight brutal years for journalists in Iran under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the election of moderate Hassan Rouhani has brought new hope for expanded freedoms - even with his limited powers under the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. International rights activists are encouraging Rouhani to push for legislation that would explicitly define and protect freedom of speech.

Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for the release of all journalists and bloggers imprisoned in #Iran bit.ly/1tkYd7h


Resources:

Author

wm_WanIfra

Date

2014-04-19 11:27

Contact information

Related nodes

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-04-03 20:08