Imprisoned since November 1, 2008 April 14, 2010 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Hossein Derakhshan, aka Mefi's Hoder has now been detained for over 500 days in Iran. He has still had no trial and no official charges. His brother Hamed posted on the Free Hoder blog last Friday.

Last month, Hossein's mother wrote a letter to Ayatollah Larijani, head of Iran’s Judiciary, asking for his release by March 21st. Hamed talks about what the family has been going through:
It has been an extremely difficult period for our family. My parents have grown 10 years older in the past 1 and a half years. My father has been working on this case literally every single day he has got NOTHING yet. He feels weak and powerless. My mother has been crying all the time and waiting for good news every single day. This is not only torturing Hossein, but torturing a whole family. I do not know how this kind of treatment can be justified. Having someone detained for over 500 days and denying his basic human rights and torturing his family can not be justified.

I’d also like to thank all of you for your support. It means a lot to us to know that there are people in this world who care about Hossein and his human rights. It is extremely heart warming to know that we are not alone in this road. There are people whom we do not know , but are supporting us. Thank you.

Hamed Derakhshan
(Previously) and Previously. See also wikipedia. + Updates @FreeHoder
posted by cashman to MetaFilter-Related at 8:44 PM (30 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

That's horrible. I wonder if authorities there have simply abandoned him to his cell and not anyone beyond the inmates serving his meals have talked to him since the election protests last year. I hope something changes in a positive direction. There are many similar stories there.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:53 PM on April 14, 2010


*sigh* I can't believe I'd forgotten about this, to my eternal shame. :(
posted by wierdo at 8:58 PM on April 14, 2010


:(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:25 PM on April 14, 2010


Thanks for the reminder.
posted by Abiezer at 10:29 PM on April 14, 2010


I wish there was something we could do.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:37 PM on April 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


And his website is gone now. Didn't Matt (or someone) pay for it to be kept up for a year after the domain was supposed to expire? Has anyone backed up the archive from the Wayback Machine?
posted by ocherdraco at 10:40 PM on April 14, 2010


hoder.com on archive.org
posted by eddydamascene at 11:07 PM on April 14, 2010


Here's hoping he's still alive.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:17 PM on April 14, 2010


I was thinking about Hoder a few days ago and almost posted to see if anyone had good news to share. This is heartbreaking.

Here's to hoping that the next update will be that he's safely home with his family.
posted by 26.2 at 11:22 PM on April 14, 2010


This is really heartbreaking. I hope the best for him and his family.
posted by spiderskull at 11:57 PM on April 14, 2010


I wish there was something we could do.
There is. (Thanks, zennie).

It could feature somewhere more prominently on the site though.
posted by GeckoDundee at 3:41 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree, GeckoDundee, about the merit of a prominent display; and similar letter-writing advice to zennie's is available at Amnesty International's site, here.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:27 AM on April 15, 2010


There is. (Thanks, zennie).

Thank you, Zennie.
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM on April 15, 2010


I did a very quick search, and I don't believe his arrest and detainment was ever posted to the blue. cashman, do you think the mods would mind if you posted this there?
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM on April 15, 2010


I'm not sure - maybe they'll come in and say whether or not that would be okay.
posted by cashman at 7:40 AM on April 15, 2010


Not against it. Would be nice to have a post that was pretty level and not "FUCK THESE GUYS" just to encourage decent discussion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:37 AM on April 15, 2010


That's probably above my level of understanding of the situation (and the region overall), so if anybody feels knowledgeable enough, feel free.
posted by cashman at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2010


Any post I would come up with would probably just be a remix of yours and the previouslies. I'm not exactly familiar with the nuances of Iranian politics.


I read "Reading Lolita in Tehran" but doesn't make me an expert.
posted by zarq at 11:26 AM on April 15, 2010


This update says mefi kept hoder.com alive, but it doesn't seem to be true. Does anyone know what the story is?

Bits of his blog that I read here are fascinating. He sounds, if anything, to espouse nationalistic Iranian views. Yes, he wants to humanize Israelis and Iranians to each other. But he does not seem like a huge fan of Israel or the US. And this is an interesting one.

I have to finish getting the kids to bed. If anyone is inspired to make a post on the blue and can use anything that I dug up, please do. I feel like we should be talking about this.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:45 PM on April 15, 2010


Thanks for this update and I would definitely like to see a post on the blue about this!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:13 PM on April 15, 2010


But he does not seem like a huge fan of Israel or the US.

He wasn't. I respect him and his talents highly, even if I sometimes disagreed with his conclusions or positions.

If no one else volunteers by the end of the weekend, I'll try to compose a post as best i can. Would really like to get the word out to a wider audience. I'd just prefer someone with a greater understanding of the situation would do it instead.

500 days. I had forgotten. That upsets me.
posted by zarq at 11:25 PM on April 15, 2010


OK. Since no one has volunteered, I will begin compiling a post this evening, but it's probably going to be a few days before it's organized into something coherent and postable.

If anyone has links or analysis that they would like me to add, please feel free to post 'em here.
posted by zarq at 8:01 PM on April 18, 2010


zarq, I don't mean to belittle Hoder's situation, but it hardly unique. As I said upthread, I have a sickening suspicion that him and many others like him have been left to languish while the Iranian authorities are busy going after the 2009 election protesters. I'm not saying that to discourage you posting something, but maybe try to find a balance between Hoder's own story and the larger picture of political prisoners in Iran. It's just really unpleasant and I don't know if the jerks in charge there would care if one billion people wrote letters calling for his release.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on April 18, 2010


And disgust makes me have terrible grammar. Ick.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 PM on April 18, 2010


Re: The IPPA link, one of the reasons I was initially leery of trying to compile a post about him is I know in a vague, non-specific way that his arrest and confinement are only the tip of a vast iceberg. I'm afraid of trying to say too much and turning the post into tl;dr, but at the same time... his arrest really does need to be placed in a larger context. Am reading the IPPA link now and it's truly horrifying. I'm glad that someone is documenting what's happening.

I think I may have figured out a way to bridge Hoder's story and that of the other Iranian political prisoners. Once I've begun turning my thoughts into words and have a preliminary draft together, would you be willing to talk to me about it, and perhaps offer suggestions?

I'm going to be clearing the post (for framing and content) with cortex before submitting it to the Blue.

It's just really unpleasant and I don't know if the jerks in charge there would care if one billion people wrote letters calling for his release.

Me either. When I was in college, I used to participate in protests. Eventually, I began to see them as a futile endeavor. These days, if I want to help a cause, I try to help convey its message to a new audience in whatever constructive way I can. I tend to think it's more effective. Like you, I don't know if letters will have any effect. But I'd rather try to light one candle than curse the darkness, so to speak.
posted by zarq at 9:04 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and by the way, THANK YOU for the IPPA link. The full scope didn't hit me until I began reading it.
posted by zarq at 9:05 PM on April 18, 2010


I'm little more than a casual observer of the subject but would offer any feedback I could, sure.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 PM on April 18, 2010


Thank you. When I'm ready, I'll memail you. Or maybe I'll post a gmail doc link here.
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2010


I was just thinking of hoder, after seeing some new pictures from the Iranian election protests and did a search to see if there were any updates. It's tragic that he, and so many others, are still dungeoned. I wish that there were something more than writing letters that I could do.
posted by dejah420 at 6:57 PM on April 19, 2010


selfmedicating writes "This update says mefi kept hoder.com alive, but it doesn't seem to be true. Does anyone know what the story is?"

We agitated to get the domain registration renewed so that some squatter wouldn't seize it (at least until next November as GoDaddy only gave a one year renewal; hopefully they'll be easier to convince next time if it comes to that). That's separate from his hosting which was already gone by that time. Hopefully when he gets out he'll be able to restore from backups.
posted by Mitheral at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2010


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