Update on Hoder's arrest
December 30, 2008 7:08 AM   Subscribe

For those who are interested, Iranian officials have confirmed hoder's arrest. His "case is under preliminary investigation and he is in custody." The old (closed) Metatalk thread about his initial disappearance is here.
posted by schroedinger to MetaFilter-Related at 7:08 AM (44 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I can't imagine being arrested on the charge of bad theology or lack of respect for historic religious leaders.
posted by Pants! at 8:03 AM on December 30, 2008


I asked in the last post and I'll say it again, please write to your Members of Parliament/Congress. Please ask them to put pressure on your nations' Foreign Ministry or State Department for answers and statements condemning Hoder's arrest.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:23 AM on December 30, 2008


Has his case gotten any traction in the Canadian media? Some MeFites mentioned writing their MPs, did anything happen with any of that or has the crazy political situation just obliterated everything else in the news?
posted by Kattullus at 8:23 AM on December 30, 2008


The initial story was carried in the Winnipeg Free Press, but there was very little reaction that I am aware of.

Right now, nothing serious can happen thanks to Stephen Harper's 'run home to momma' bullshit act of proroguing Parliment...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:30 AM on December 30, 2008


There has been minimal reporting of the case on CBC radio. One day before Christmas they actually did a story on it, might have been the Toronto drive home show. Overall, not much coverage at all.
posted by Chuckles at 10:08 AM on December 30, 2008


I'll be writing to my M.P. today.
posted by Rumple at 10:15 AM on December 30, 2008


Contact list for all Members of Canadian Parliament
posted by Rumple at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wrote my MP. (Mario Silva is on the case!) Honestly though, Canada is pretty ineffectual when it comes to this stuff.
posted by chunking express at 10:39 AM on December 30, 2008


I sent an email to Jack Layton after reading the original thread. Never heard back. (Not that I was expecting to...)
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:56 AM on December 30, 2008


It would also be a good idea when writing your MP to cc your email to The Hon. Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. I would also send it to Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition who (for all his faults) does have a broad understanding of international affairs especially religious and ethnic disputes.
posted by Rumple at 11:18 AM on December 30, 2008


Where is the "we must respect their cultural values" crowd now?

*crickets*
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:59 AM on December 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


Wasn't just on Toronto drive; CBC Radio here in Halifax also carried the story, so it's received mild national attention. But one story in the pre-Christmas rush tends to get buried and forgotten.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:04 PM on December 30, 2008


Where is the "we must respect their cultural values" crowd now?

Yeah, where are those fuckers? I hated them the first time around. Wait, what?
posted by chunking express at 12:14 PM on December 30, 2008


I can't imagine being arrested on the charge of bad theology or lack of respect for historic religious leaders.

Make sure you don't travel to Iran. Or Italy.
posted by rodgerd at 12:27 PM on December 30, 2008


Is there really a "we must respect their cultural values" crowd? Do they have a Facebook group?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:36 PM on December 30, 2008


s there really a "we must respect their cultural values" crowd? Do they have a Facebook group?

Yes - One Million Strong for Making Quick Obnoxious Comments on the Internet
posted by Pants! at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2008


Well, we must respect the cultural values of those who respect others' cultural values.
posted by not_on_display at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2008


Wait, what?

I'm not sure if it was what damn dirty ape was refering to, but there were some people in this thread justifying the actions of Iranian courts on the basis that their culture is different than Western culture.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:10 PM on December 30, 2008


Am I missing something?

There aren't really people making snarky, offhanded comments about a member of our community potentially dying or rotting in jail for blogging, are there?

This is one of us, y'all. I don't care if you hate someone to the core for whatever reason, because we all do... I still think it's fucking rude to joke about what's happening to Hoder.

/puts down Golden Rule measuring stick
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


A conservative Iranian website said in November that Derakhshan had been arrested over suspicions of spying for Israel.

I guess they're assholes wherever you go, eh?
posted by Joe Beese at 2:27 PM on December 30, 2008


It's difficult to sort this situation out from afar, but so far it looksl ike this: Hoder, a prominent Persian blogger, went to Israel, blogged about the place relatively positively, then went back to Iran and is now in prison, despite having posted in recent months in ways that led some to consider him a terribly conservative apologist for the current Iranian regime.

Is that a decent summary here?

From where I sit (admittedly up in the cheap seats), it's hard not to see the current espionage arrest as punishment for blogging positively about his experience in Israel. Which, again from my seat, looks like something you would expect bloggers to be rallying around.
posted by mediareport at 3:23 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is one of us[...]

Seriously, Seriously?

Hoder, a prominent Persian blogger, went to Israel, blogged about the place relatively positively, then went back to Iran and is now in prison

I think this is what we ought to be caring about.
posted by Baron Kriminel at 4:14 PM on December 30, 2008


I think this is what we ought to be caring about.

I thought that was what we were talking about. Isn't it? People are expressing concern for Hoden, who is a MeFite or "one of us".

burnmp3s also linked to a post from a few days ago, about another Iranian prisoner.
posted by Evangeline at 4:22 PM on December 30, 2008


To Unicorn and damn dirty ape...

I think if hoder was able to see this thread right now, and it is my very, very strong wish that one day he will be able to see and read and enjoy this thread, he would be delighted at the prospect of a debate about westerners respecting a middle eastern country's values vs. freedom of speech for bloggers.

Those times I've read or heard about his blog, it seems to me that this kind of discourse is the sort of thing he works very to inspire in Iran, and it would probably be one of the greatest compliments we, a community he obviously enjoyed the company of, could pay him by taking advantage of the rights we so often take for granted in our own countries by debating such things and challenging our own views.

It is my greatest hope that we can have that debate, here in this thread if possible or somewhere else if need be, with respect and civility towards one another and each others views. I hope that we can do this so that when hoder gets out of this horrible predicament he's apparently found himself in, he can see that the time he looks to have spent in one of Tehran's darkest holes was inspiring to those who enjoy the freedoms he works so hard to foster in Iran, rather than just another opportunity for us to bitch and moan and snark at one another.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:00 PM on December 30, 2008


Where is the "we must respect their cultural values" crowd now?

Can you hang a strawman in Iran for not stopping with beating his wife?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:31 PM on December 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh. holy. fuck. I hope he's ok, and that he makes it back home. Iran is one of those countries where I really wouldn't want to run afoul of the law. I know he knew the dangers of going back, it must have been something incredibly important for him to take that risk.

I hope he's back with us soon, and has a story with another happy ending.
posted by dejah420 at 7:58 PM on December 30, 2008


This is so very sad. Hope you're okay, hoder. Get home safe.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:46 PM on December 30, 2008


Harvey Oberfeld, a retired political, national reporter (he reported on things political, both provincial and national, and was recognized nationally; surprisingly, he was not associated with CBC: we once had real independent journalism in this nation) ... er, anyway, this is to say he's also blogging about Hoder.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on December 30, 2008


This is awful.

Can someone be helpful and sum up for me what I can do to help? I can write my senators and rep, but is there a legal defense fund or something?
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:23 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I did write the following letter to my Senators and Rep. Anyone who likes can use any part of it.

Dear Senator,

Hossein Derakhshan is an Iranian-Canadian citizen who has recently been detained in Iran for remarks he made on his blog critical of the Shi'ite Iranian leadership.

A brief summary can be found in the AP wire news here:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gW0mbGfXnx3bU9T94UGPakq4bdeg

Though Mr Derakhshan is not American, his rights to freedom of opinion, freedom of expression and freedom from arbitrary detention are protected under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), to which the USA, Canada, and Iran are signatories.

Please do what you can to encourage Iran's government to release Mr Derakhshan and clear him of charges in a timely way. His case is being closely watched and has great symbolic importance for relations between Iran and the West.

Yours,
ikkyu2
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:36 PM on December 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


"The spokesman did not say when Derakhshan was arrested or where he is being held."

So there's no way for anyone to check on his condition. Shit.
posted by homunculus at 9:41 PM on December 30, 2008


Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi recently called for hoder's release, but since then the authorities have raided and shut down her human rights center.
posted by homunculus at 9:43 PM on December 30, 2008


Let me clarify, Baron Kriminel. I feel personally ill that anyone would suffer this fate, MeFite or not. I hope he DOES read this thread long, long after he's safe, and frankly I would feel horrible if he saw anything that would make my attitude (or anyone else's here) seem cavalier about his fate. I'd rather him see that we cared about whether he lives or dies -- and how Canadian citizens chose to help him out through political activism -- as the primary points of this post. Effigy2000, my main concern is that he not be harmed. We can all debate ideals and blogs and politics later; frankly, I am worried.

That said, you're all entitled to your own opinions. I'm glad most of us can post whatever we like without life-altering repercussions.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:51 AM on December 31, 2008


Amnesty International document
posted by various at 5:27 AM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is one of us[...]

Seriously, Seriously?


Seriously. One might even logically contend that he is more "one of us" than someone who paid their five bucks and dropped all of two comments in the four months they've been here.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:43 AM on December 31, 2008


Wow, be sure to let me know to what degree I'm "one of us" based on posting history, Pollomacho.

Why do helpful threads bring out the ugly?

This has received scant media attention. If you want action, it needs more. A lot more. Does he have family here that the press could interview?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:00 AM on December 31, 2008


Hmm, wasn't meant to be ugly. I just found Baron Kriminel's comment to be questionable, but I can certainly see how you would find my response unfair and in that context it was.

Look, Hoder's been around the, for lack of a better word, blogisphere for quite a while, including MetaFilter. What he wrote about or where he did so is fairly immaterial to how we should be reacting to his condition right now. The fact that he was active in MetaFilter should bring it home to all of us here though.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:19 AM on December 31, 2008


I can certainly see how you would find my response unfair and in that context it was.

And, I need to add, I am sorry.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:25 AM on December 31, 2008


I wasn't trying to ruffle any feathers, but I can certainly see how I might have. I wasn't suggesting your remarks were off-base or anything, Unicorn on the cob. They just struck me as possibly suggesting some odd... priorities? I'm not entirely sure.

someone who paid their five bucks and dropped all of two comments in the four months they've been here

Oh dang. That's... hm.

And, I need to add, I am sorry.

If that was directed at me, no need. If I ticked you off I ticked you off. This is how we learn.
posted by Baron Kriminel at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2008


Nothing personal intended -- I'm just not crazy about divvying people into those we care about/don't care about camps, never mind within a single membership based on some kind of popularity contest.

Very serious about the family angle, though. The press needs something to sink its teeth into if it's going to spare this any new attention.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:14 PM on December 31, 2008


What if we flood the Canadian members of parliament with letters? The addresses are in Rumple's link. We could whip up a word document of addresses to print out on the kind of address labels you buy at office depot. We've got Ikkyu2's letter as a model.

If we split it up, we could generate and mail a ton of letters without any one person spending an onerous amount on postage. A letter costs 72 cents from the US, so if I do a page of addresses (30), that's under $30. If 10 more people do the same thing, we've covered all the members of parliament.

Surely a flood of letters coming in from all the places mefi members live would catch somebody's attention in the Canadian government.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:50 PM on December 31, 2008


It would be most effective if Canadian citizens contact their local MP rather than "flood" the parliament. Find somebody who can find somebody to work the phones and do something.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:47 PM on December 31, 2008


selfmedicating, letters written to one's MP require no postage.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:32 PM on January 1, 2009


Writing to one's MP on this matter is likely to be ineffectual at best. Besides official policy being essentially to not interfere with dual citizen's treatment at the hands of their alternate nationality we're experiencing somewhat interesting times in federal politics right now.

mediareport writes "From where I sit (admittedly up in the cheap seats), it's hard not to see the current espionage arrest as punishment for blogging positively about his experience in Israel. Which, again from my seat, looks like something you would expect bloggers to be rallying around."

While probably no one here would believe it there is also the possibility he was spying for Israel even though at present he hasn't been publicly charged with that. Besides that the court he is being held by can detain him on some pretty whacky crimes by western standards.
posted by Mitheral at 8:50 PM on January 1, 2009


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