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Update on hoder
September 19, 2010 3:08 PM   Subscribe

According to a news report (in Farsi) shared through his Facebook group, hoder, or Hossein Derakhshan, has been sentenced to death in Tehran.

Let's hope that this is not true.
posted by emilyd22222 to MetaFilter-Related at 3:08 PM (217 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

It's weird that the twitter account, free holder blog, and facebook group have all been dormant for some time. I got this same message, but since I can't read the language at the linked site...anyway, I can't find any independent confirmation of this on any English language site.

Sad that he's been in prison so long. Sad that Canada isn't up in arms over this. Sad if this news is true.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2010


For those of us with bad memories, what was he sentenced for?
posted by IndigoRain at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2010


For those of us with bad memories, what was he sentenced for?

He was accused of spying for Israel.
Here's pretty much the whole story, all under one tag.
posted by carsonb at 3:13 PM on September 19, 2010


Server seems to be getting hit right now, but this is the google translation:

"Minimum: a report from reliable sources, Tehran prosecutor Court Branch 15 of Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati alleged collaboration with hostile governments, propaganda against the Islamic propaganda in favor Grvhkhay anti-blasphemy, commissioning and management of vulgar and obscene websites Hossein Derakhshan, and remember to punish others for his application has executed.
Is mentioned Unlike rumors spread among the crimes of espionage charges against him and he was not related to a year before returning to Iran"
posted by stratastar at 3:14 PM on September 19, 2010


A Farsi to English site translates that link as:
Minimum: a report from reliable sources, Tehran revolutionary prosecutor Trial Court Branch 15 presided by Judge Salavati alleged collaboration with hostile governments, propaganda against the Islamic propaganda in favor Grvhkhay anti-blasphemy, commissioning and management of vulgar and obscene websites Hossein Derakhshan, and remember to punish others for his application has executed.
Is mentioned Unlike rumors spread among the crimes of espionage charges against him and he was not related to a year before returning to Iran.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:14 PM on September 19, 2010


Crap. I was wondering if there was an update on hoder just a couple of days ago. This is not the update that I was hoping for.

I'd really like this to be one of those lousy interbot translation issues.
posted by ambrosia at 3:20 PM on September 19, 2010


Just came here to post the same thing.

Granted, the US can't even get their own hikers out of Iranian custody in a timely fashion, so they probably can't do much on behalf of a Canadian national of Iranian descent. But this just seems so wrong.
posted by felix betachat at 3:21 PM on September 19, 2010


What the hell? Fuck. This news sucks, I keep hoping any day now we'll hear he has been freed, but put to death? Unbelievably fucked up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:34 PM on September 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


i don't think i've ever been more thankful to be an american on american soil. i can't even comprehend how something like this can happen.

please keep this thread updated. please.
posted by msconduct at 3:37 PM on September 19, 2010


Oh my God. Looking into this to try to figure out what I can do — yeah, I know I could write a letter to the Minister of Justice, but there must be more.
posted by orange swan at 3:40 PM on September 19, 2010


Okay, it's official. MetaFilter needs its own A-Team.
posted by hermitosis at 3:41 PM on September 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


My Farsi-speaking boyfriend has unfortunately confirmed that the article says what everyone thinks it says.
posted by phunniemee at 3:41 PM on September 19, 2010


On the other hand, this guy is saying that the report only says that the prosecutor is SEEKING the death penalty (as opposed to it having been imposed). Also questioning the source of this info (in both cases). Keeping fingers crossed.
posted by aberrant at 3:44 PM on September 19, 2010


Fuck. I was just thinking about him the other day, wondering what what going on with his case. This was not exactly the answer I wanted, or even expected...
posted by kalimac at 3:54 PM on September 19, 2010


Sad that Canada isn't up in arms over this.

Is he Canadian? His wikipedia page doesn't seem to mention any Canadian citizenship.

This is just distressing.
posted by hippybear at 3:58 PM on September 19, 2010


Fuck.
posted by joedan at 4:02 PM on September 19, 2010


Is he Canadian? His wikipedia page doesn't seem to mention any Canadian citizenship.

yes it does
(although I didn't see any mention of when he received full citizenship)
posted by mannequito at 4:02 PM on September 19, 2010


His profile also lists him as Canadian. And most of the other threads talk about writing his MP.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:04 PM on September 19, 2010


Oh, I missed that. Thanks!
posted by hippybear at 4:14 PM on September 19, 2010


(Not that it makes it any better or worse. I was just confused there for a while. I guess I get an F in reading comprehension.)

And yes, I do wonder why Canada isn't being more active. Or maybe they are and I just don't hear anything about it here in the US.
posted by hippybear at 4:17 PM on September 19, 2010


For those who want more information, zarq put together a fantastic post on the whole situation a few months ago.
posted by questionsandanchors at 4:24 PM on September 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


That's not good. I was hoping that with all the election protests and other new developments in Iran that the authorities there would not be so interested in him. I really hate the goddamned ayatollahs there and their sycophantic judges and politicians. They're devils in religious robes. Let him go back to his family, and stop giving the perception of Islam such a horrible black eye.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:34 PM on September 19, 2010


I emailed a few news organizations in Canada with info and links to the relevant threads.. maybe someone will help it get some traction.
posted by modernnomad at 4:34 PM on September 19, 2010


Oh no. No.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:39 PM on September 19, 2010


My Farsi-speaking boyfriend has unfortunately confirmed that the article says what everyone thinks it says.

Can you ask him to provide a full translation for us?
posted by Gator at 4:47 PM on September 19, 2010


That's not good. I was hoping that with all the election protests and other new developments in Iran that the authorities there would not be so interested in him.

Unfortunately, the other way of looking at this could be that the powers that be want to quietly finish this while the rest of the population's attention is focussed on all these other issues.
posted by mannequito at 4:48 PM on September 19, 2010


And yes, I do wonder why Canada isn't being more active.

Our Prime Minister is a sociopath.
posted by zarah at 5:13 PM on September 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


Sorta puts all our petty arguments in perspective.

Thinking hopeful thoughts.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:19 PM on September 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


Shit shit shit.
posted by sculpin at 5:20 PM on September 19, 2010


crap.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:22 PM on September 19, 2010


aberrant: "On the other hand, this guy is saying that the report only says that the prosecutor is SEEKING the death penalty (as opposed to it having been imposed). Also questioning the source of this info (in both cases). Keeping fingers crossed."

The heading of the linked article as translated by google Persian to English: "Request for execution of Hossein Derakhshan"
posted by vapidave at 5:59 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


damn
posted by fuq at 6:02 PM on September 19, 2010


I am hoping to add no dots to this post
posted by mykescipark at 6:06 PM on September 19, 2010


FUCK. I feel so helpless.
posted by sweetkid at 6:12 PM on September 19, 2010


My Farsi-speaking boyfriend has unfortunately confirmed that the article says what everyone thinks it says.

Is there anything at all about the source of this article? For a start, what is kamtarin.com?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:21 PM on September 19, 2010


Is there anything we can do? Amnesty International was mentioned in his Wikipedia article... can they help?
posted by IndigoRain at 6:43 PM on September 19, 2010


omg. Please let it not be so.

I have feared this potential outcome after reading about how free they have been with executions. For seemingly lesser charges than spying. Not that I think he was spying, but I guess truth isn't a factor here.

This is terrifying and terrible news.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:50 PM on September 19, 2010


And yes, I do wonder why Canada isn't being more active.

Our Prime Minister is a sociopath.


Jesus fucking Christ. You make a big deal about this, the Iranian government feels that its sovereignty and mettle are being openly challenged by the West, he dies. You go through backchannels, quietly, maybe he lives. But don't let reality get in the way of a political cheapshot on Metafilter.
posted by Dasein at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Any ideas for anything mefites can do to pressure the Canadian gov't?
Also, shouldn't the U.S. gov't be involved as well? The U.S. as a friend to Canada and with her own citizens in lockup in Iran?
And the Brits?
posted by angrycat at 7:00 PM on September 19, 2010


Dasein, what's the basis for your beliefs about that?
posted by angrycat at 7:01 PM on September 19, 2010


Oh man.

What can I do? I have time. I have a few dollars to spare. What can I do? What can WE do?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:03 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh my God. This is the worst news I've heard in a long time. Like many others I am wondering what, if anything, I can do. Is there anything? Please let there be something we can do. Shit.
posted by LeeJay at 7:22 PM on September 19, 2010


I've written to my MP and the PMO. That being said, I did this the last two or three times this topic came up and I have yet to receive a response.

Articles like this make me lose faith in our ability to assist. However, they mention the passing of the "Protection of Canadians Act".

Rather than make it personal, we could impress on our MPs to push for this legislation. Obviously, appealing to the Iranian government is pointless, and I would be happy to hear any alternative options, but this is the best I could come up with on short notice.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is not a passed sentence, but a propped-up prosecutor, but we need to consider the worst.
posted by purephase at 7:32 PM on September 19, 2010


Here's the contact information for the Canadian embassy in Tehran.
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:35 PM on September 19, 2010


And yes, I do wonder why Canada isn't being more active.
>Our Prime Minister is a sociopath.


Yeah, I sort of doubt apathy towards a brown dude stuck in a craphole can be laid at the PM's feet considering Canadians don't seem to much give a rat's ass about that other brown dude in that other craphole, and may be still sore about that other brown dude getting $10 500 000 for being stuck in that other craphole, not to mention those other brown dudes who were in crapholes...

Dasein, what's the basis for your beliefs about that?

Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian 'spy' raped and murdered while in Iranian custody.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:40 PM on September 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another suggestion is to send a note to Amir Attaran. He holds the Canadian Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa and is a one of the sponsors on the "Protection of Canadians Act".
posted by purephase at 7:44 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't care where he is from, if we can send Bill Clinton to North Korea to negotiate a release we can send him to Iran.


Contact the White House.


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please include your e-mail address
Phone Numbers

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD

Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:56 PM on September 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Call Hillary:

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
# Main Switchboard:
202-647-4000
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:58 PM on September 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


This person is saying that the article says that judge has requested execution, which I'm hoping is different from a death sentence. I'm really hoping that a judge recommending execution doesn't carry the same weight there as it does in the US. There are obviously language and cultural translations here that are making it hard to understand what's going on.
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:59 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


well, the site said the procescutors are asking for the death penalty, what the outcome is....remember the released hiker, different but the idea of leniency seems to be huming like electrons in the air as of late.

but this is politics
i'd say lets go get him but Iran has recently updated its' anti-aircraft net.

let us hope this is a bluff, he does some time and comes home. either way he is in the hands of Irans courts and praise be, gods.
posted by clavdivs at 8:04 PM on September 19, 2010


D'oh
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 PM on September 19, 2010


I'm sorry, but POTUS and the State Department are going to do absolutely zero. Hoder is Canadian, and the Iranians are playing ball with the Americans right now over their own hostages.

This is totally a terrible situation, and I hate to say it, but I don't think any popular channels will be effective. If someone out there reading this has a relative in Iran that can cash in a favor, please do so. Otherwise, pray if you're a praying sort.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, even getting them to mention him in a press conference would be nice. Anything to up the pressure on Iran to not go where they are going.

He may not be an American, but as a free speech advocate he certainly has to have the sympathy of people who believe in those ideals.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:11 PM on September 19, 2010


POTUS and the State Department are going to do absolutely zero

While I think you're probably right, it can't hurt to try when the cost is a few minutes of your time and the cumulative benefit could be his life.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:15 PM on September 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Canadian gov't's response to its citizens being mistreated abroad has been really discouraging.

I don't really know what else to say except that this is terrible, and that it infuriates me that Canada allows this to happen to our citizens.

Here's an interview with Hoder on The Hour in 2006:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Hoder#p/u/97/nluXchIqUVo
posted by Ouisch at 8:16 PM on September 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Somewhere, out there, there is a small group of old men who are deeply, deeply terrified that their criminal mismanagement of an entire nation will somehow come to the light of day.

They are so terrified that they will order the murder of a simple journalist who attacked them with nothing more than words on a screen. That's how weak and decrepit they are: they're afraid of words. Their power is like a great tree rotted out from the inside -- creaking in the wind, filled with spiders and snakes.

I don't believe in God, but they supposedly do. And if I were them, if I believed in this righteous God who judges the living and the dead, I would be fucking terrified.

So here's to the Ayatollah's! May they be judged by their own measure.
posted by Avenger at 8:21 PM on September 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


Unfortunately, the Canadian gov't has shown a lousy track record when it comes to protecting its foreign-born citizens, allowing - and collaborating with - the U.S. to get them deported as they pass through U.S. territory, for example. It's a sickening, loathsome, shameful thing.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:22 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our current Canadian government has demonstrated time and again that if you leave the country, you are no longer considered by them to be Canadian, and they will steadfastly do sweet fuck-all to help you unless our subservient media *really* gets upset.

As always, *fuck* Stephen fucking Harper.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 PM on September 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is so fucked up and terrifying.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:26 PM on September 19, 2010


push them to hard....
posted by clavdivs at 8:28 PM on September 19, 2010


OMG, this is devastating news. My prayers and loving good wishes for hoder and his family.

May the authorities release him and be more respected for making that decision.
posted by nickyskye at 8:36 PM on September 19, 2010


Somewhere, out there, there is a small group of old men who are deeply, deeply terrified that their criminal mismanagement of an entire nation will somehow come to the light of day.

That's nice to imagine, but I'm not holding my breath. They'll probably end up in the same luxury island retirement resort as the Khmer Rouge, the Burmese generals, and 1001 other unpleasant regimes.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on September 19, 2010


Wait, is this even true...that news source...is it credible? I cant find anything else about the site.

OP,
The facebook page has a link to a Tweet, linking a news site in Farsi that has this information...but no other news source has it...in any language. Anywhere.

How credible is this?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:48 PM on September 19, 2010


How credible is this?

Hopefully not at all. There have been lots of questions raised upthread about the credibility of the news agency, the reliability of the translation, etc. It was sent to members of the Free Hoder Facebook group, and I thought it was important to share it with the Metafilter community. My intent was to frame it as "this is what this media outlet appears to be saying," not as "this is unequivocal fact."
posted by emilyd22222 at 9:04 PM on September 19, 2010


Have written to my MP and the prime minister's office to request that they come to hoder's aid. I reminded them that, as stated in the Globe article linked above, other countries have laws making it mandatory for the government to come to the aid of nationals abroad. I also reminded them of the tragic outcome of the Zahra Kazemi case.

Hope he ends up being released. This is not good.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:16 PM on September 19, 2010


We, as a species, are fucked.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:47 PM on September 19, 2010


Fuck.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:38 PM on September 19, 2010


this is about as bad as it gets - can anybody figure out something that can help (has anybody contacted Amnesty Int'l?)
posted by victors at 10:47 PM on September 19, 2010


I think this is one of those times where we really do need an effective way to raise awareness. We need more people to care. MeFi has been pretty good about that within the community (thanks to zarq and others who continually provide updates), but I don't think we alone can do as much as we could with other circles linked together on this.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:25 AM on September 20, 2010


cjorgensen: It's weird that the twitter account, free holder blog, and facebook group have all been dormant for some time.

It isn't weird. It's not uncommon to "maintain radio silence" in public arenas at delicate points in negotiations. Obviously, that's not how it plays out by definition in high profile media blitz instances, but it's a standard strategy.

Personally, I had hoped the extended quiet was actually a really good sign. This is awful news.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:54 AM on September 20, 2010


Keep hope for a release in your hearts. It is not the end until he is actually executed. This gives the the regime even more of an oportunity to look "gracious" and "merciful" in releasing him or "rational" by convicting him of a lesser charge and changing his sentence to a lighter one. These men may be evil and may seem irrational to outsiders, but they are very calculated and cunning.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:12 AM on September 20, 2010


Damn, damn, damn. I hope and pray for his sake and his family's that this is inaccurate.
posted by zarq at 6:15 AM on September 20, 2010


Okay, it's official. MetaFilter needs its own A-Team

OK here's the deal, we fly in on 8 helicopters to a remote desert rendezvous where we will be met by failed US and British foreign policy, oh crap...
posted by the noob at 6:20 AM on September 20, 2010


For those who want more information, zarq put together...

I'd like to mention that the first comment on that post links to a letter we can send as an appeal to the Iranian authorities on behalf of Hoder. I've done so twice, and will do so again today. I'll also write to the Clintons and Mr. Harper.
It can't hurt.

I made that FPP hoping that it would encourage awareness, discussion and perhaps even inspire someone to write a letter or two on Hoder's behalf. It was nice to see people liked the post. But in retrospect I wish I could have editorialized a little more aggressively and urged those who were reading it to take action.
posted by zarq at 6:32 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about another FPP on the blue? Not necessarily editorializing, but with an update that makes the situation's urgent nature explicit (and gives the letter links again)
posted by angrycat at 6:57 AM on September 20, 2010


Zarq, I wouldn't take it as a personal failure. There has been more action regarding Hoder than has been posted on any of the threads. We need these constant reminders to keep the pressure on.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:00 AM on September 20, 2010


Walt Martin A reliable source has told us that Hossein's trial has ended but that no verdict or decission of the court has been announced to those closely monitoring the case. It is not known why the article was published. Again, No sentence has been announced but please continue to sign the petition and write letters on behalf of Mr. Derakhshan.

This was posted on the facebook page 10 hours ago. Anybody know what's going on?
posted by angrycat at 7:03 AM on September 20, 2010


aberrant's source, cited above, says the same thing. no sentence yet.
posted by angrycat at 7:05 AM on September 20, 2010


What about another FPP on the blue? Not necessarily editorializing, but with an update that makes the situation's urgent nature explicit (and gives the letter links again)

It would have to be framed carefully. Jessamyn kindly approved that post of mine in advance in order to give it the best possible chance for survival. Posts on this topic can easily turn into flamewars.

I wouldn't be able to put together a post until tomorrow morning at the earliest. (I'm not at a computer for most of the day today.) If anyone would like to give it a go, please don't hesitate on my account.
posted by zarq at 7:26 AM on September 20, 2010


Zarq, I wouldn't take it as a personal failure. There has been more action regarding Hoder than has been posted on any of the threads. We need these constant reminders to keep the pressure on.

Thanks. I really am glad I made the post. I suppose I just don't like feeling helpless.
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on September 20, 2010


Went looking for more news online and found this blog entry on Iranian.com from July. It does not have additional news about Hoder, but there are links at the end that I wish I'd known about back in June, including a documentary on Google Video called Loving Tehran in Tel Aviv.
posted by zarq at 7:51 AM on September 20, 2010


Ugh ugh ugh, this is the worst news.

I just wrote a letter to my MP and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Not really optimistic about Lawrence Cannon because of stupid shit like this, but you never know.

Fingers crossed for hoder. :(
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:54 AM on September 20, 2010


Here's another brief story from the "Rahana News Agency," translated from Farsi to English via Google:
Request the death penalty for Hossein Derakhshan

Yesterday's news on some sites requesting the death penalty for Hussein brilliant release and follow-up report also verified Rhana request the death penalty for Hussein is brilliant news.
Rhana reports, physical and psychological condition Hossein Derakhshan, now a corps in paragraph 2 is held in Evin prison, very bad and worrying has been reported. The first court to address charges by Hossein Derakhshan The second was held in July 1388 in which Court charges he was "propaganda against the regime in favor of groups, blasphemy and setup obscene and vulgar" was charged.
No other requests so far this sentence is not known. Web site "minimum" that the news yesterday requested the death penalty for Iranian-Canadian blogger has released "punishment Hossein Derakhshan and others remember the" ask the reasons as had the death sentence.
Hossein Derakhshan on 10 November 1387 when the country returned to Tazky was ever arrested and remained in Evin prison. He nearly two years in temporary detention and solitary confinement in Evin prison remained
If you do a google search for his name in Persian (which I copied off the Wikipedia page), there are more blog entries.
posted by desjardins at 8:28 AM on September 20, 2010


Idea: could we put together a video (aimed primarily at Canadian viewers) that briefly explains the situation and has a call to action to spread the call for help as wide as possible? (Call your MP, write the PM, forward this link, etc.)

Surely, if nothing else, the collective internet manpower of Metafilter can get Hoder's situation more exposure.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am thinking something along the lines of this, spoken by several different Canadian citizens:

"Hossein 'Hoder' Derakhshan is a Canadian citizen who is imprisoned in Iran and is in danger of losing his life because he exercised his fundamental freedoms. So why hasn't our government come to his aid? If Hoder dies for speaking out, none of us will be truly free. Save Hoder. Save our fundamental freedoms."
posted by ocherdraco at 9:21 AM on September 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ocherdraco, I love that idea.
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on September 20, 2010


So why hasn't our government come to his aid?

FYI - Hoder's case was named as a specific example of Human Rights violations by the US State Department in their 2009 Human Rights Report on Iran. This report was used and cited in testimony and support of both UN sanctions resolution and US Congressional sanctions bill passed in June.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:58 AM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reuters: An American woman released last week after being held in Iran with two friends for over a year on suspicion of spying said on Sunday they were innocent hikers who never intended to cross into Iran from Iraq. "We committed no crime. We are not spies," Sarah Shourd told a news conference.
posted by zarq at 10:00 AM on September 20, 2010


There is an online petition here that needs a lot more signatures. There is a "Free Hoder" webpage here with many links. The recommendation I am seeing (and it comes with addresses) is to send appeals directly to Iranian officials in Iran, and to accredited Iranian representatives of our respective countries.
posted by bearwife at 10:06 AM on September 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


Folks, we are all outraged about the fate of our own hoder. What I'd like to know is, is there anything we can actually do for him?
posted by Lynsey at 10:11 AM on September 20, 2010


Lynsey, we could all sign the petition and send letters to the Iranian officials and locally accredited Iranian representatives. We could also ask our respective governments to take action.

There are quite a few MeFites. We could each set aside some time and get this done.
posted by bearwife at 10:16 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm going to flag your comment, bearwife. Mods, is there any chance you'd be willing to sidebar it?
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2010


Site policy, slippery slopes and questionable precedences notwithstanding - I would think this is about as valid a reason as any to leverage the full power of mefi's popularity to do whatever we can to raise awareness about this. How is a FPP (if not sticky) not justified here?
posted by victors at 10:48 AM on September 20, 2010


Hurrah already for MeFites . . . there were 255 signatures on the petition when I posted my first comment, there are 297 now.
posted by bearwife at 11:09 AM on September 20, 2010


Jesus fucking Christ. You make a big deal about this, the Iranian government feels that its sovereignty and mettle are being openly challenged by the West, he dies. You go through backchannels, quietly, maybe he lives. But don't let reality get in the way of a political cheapshot on Metafilter.

No, that's simply not it.

While it's not Mr Harper's fault entirely, the Canadian government has a rapidly growing track record of letting people die overseas through inaction, like Zarah Kazemi.

On this particular front, the Canadian government is horrible and is literally killing people through inaction.
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


How is a FPP (if not sticky) not justified here?

I doubt it would do much good. Sidebarring a link to the petition may be in order, but I have my doubts regarding the efficacy of such things. Obviously if Matt decides this is something that should be pursued, that's awesome, but I just don't think MeFi would be an appropriate or effective engine for this, as dire as the situation is.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:21 AM on September 20, 2010


GuyZero writes "While it's not Mr Harper's fault entirely, the Canadian government has a rapidly growing track record of letting people die overseas through inaction, like Zarah Kazemi."

While Harper isn't actively at fault he's passively allowing shit like this to happen. It's hard to imagine, say, Trudeau letting this kind of crap fly without applying significant pressure. One gets the feeling from the Conservatives that they don't consider people like Hoder to be real Canadians.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 AM on September 20, 2010


Oh, I agree. Harper should be taking a strong stand here. At least there should be SOMEONE in cabinet saying SOMETHING. I just think it's a bit of a cop-out to blame the PM directly for everything. There's only a few dozen ministers who could also make it happen.
posted by GuyZero at 11:44 AM on September 20, 2010


Harper should be taking a strong stand here

Or Canadians could give a shit. Harper, prick and fool that he is, perpetually has his eye on the polls. If he perceived that the government's criminal negligence on this issue was a electoral liability, he and his troop of apes would at the very least be making the appropriate grunts.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:52 AM on September 20, 2010


...I have my doubts regarding the efficacy...

then why even talk about Hoder at all? I'm as cynical and nihilistic as the next gorilla to but to frame this in terms of what's "appropriate" for the site in this context seems way, way out of kilter.

a text ad (that shows for registered users) is another to alert folks that doesn't mess with the postings. just saying...
posted by victors at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2010


I just sent a letter to the local MP (although I'm kinda in a no-man's land - I'm a US citizen living in Canada and can't vote). I don't know how much help it will be but it's the least anyone can do.
posted by deborah at 12:20 PM on September 20, 2010


According to Global Voices, the prosecutor is the one seeking the death penalty. The judge has not ruled yet.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 PM on September 20, 2010


Or Canadians could give a shit. (Alvy Ampersand)

So, how can we make them care? How many of them know about stories like Hoder's and Kazemi's?

I'm serious about this video project. Yes, signing petitions and writing letters to the appropriate officials are things we should all do (regardless of our nationality), but in order for any actions like those to be effective, enough people have to know and care to do something. We care about hoder because he's one of us; we need to show others that he's one of them, too.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:12 PM on September 20, 2010


I posted the petition to Facebook. Help amplify by doing likewise on your own social media outlets.
posted by zennie at 1:18 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


How many of them know about stories like Hoder's and Kazemi's?

I recall about hearing about Kazemi every day on CBC. it would be hard to get the story a much higher profile without basically attacking the government head-on.
posted by GuyZero at 1:28 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grar.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:49 PM on September 20, 2010


What about twitter? Is there a hashtag that would be appropriate? (e.g., #Iran, #Canada)
posted by angrycat at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2010


This person is saying that the article says that judge has requested execution, which I'm hoping is different from a death sentence.

A friend of mine who is a MeFi reader and native Farsi speaker asked me to comment here. The article states only that the prosecution has requested the death sentence. It was not the judge making the request. He has not yet been found guilty of anything or sentenced to anything, according to the article.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2010


Apologies if I've missed this elsewhere, but has PEN been contacted? It seems like something that might fit with their Rapid Action Network program.
posted by scody at 2:36 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


angrycat, what a great idea. Can you think of a hashtag? We can start that up right away too and ask people to use their own social networks to spread it further. It would be nice to get this out there while the judge is considering the prosecution's request.
posted by bearwife at 2:54 PM on September 20, 2010


If someone decides to make a video, I was just told by a Persian friend that I've been pronouncing his handle wrong. It's hodAHr, not HODair or hodAIR.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:56 PM on September 20, 2010


(assuming she's right, of course)
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:04 PM on September 20, 2010


I'm sorry, but POTUS and the State Department are going to do absolutely zero. Hoder is Canadian, and the Iranians are playing ball with the Americans right now over their own hostages.

That reminds me. Jimmy Carter would remember maybe a small diplomatic favour Canada performed in 1979, something about Iran and some hostages. Do you suppose he is aware of this situation?
posted by Sallyfur at 3:15 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apologies if I've missed this elsewhere, but has PEN been contacted? It seems like something that might fit with their Rapid Action Network program.

scody, I emailed someone associated with International Pen today asking for direction. At this point, I would like to see any and all of us contacting who we can, even if there are redundancies.
posted by zennie at 3:25 PM on September 20, 2010


Also, is anyone here in contact with his family, or the folks who are running the Free Hoder website? (Matt?) If we'd like to take some collective action, it would probably make the most sense to do it with their blessing.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:51 PM on September 20, 2010


Ah, got a reply back (yay for sleuthing a direct address). A committee at International PEN has been monitoring hoder's case, and they are aware of the sentencing situation. PEN Canada, where hoder is an honorary member, also in discussion of what if any action may be taken. Hopefully will hear more tomorrow.
posted by zennie at 3:58 PM on September 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


As for hashtags, one assumes #freehoder would be the obvious choice. Perhaps coupled with something like #freecanada. ("#freehoder for a #freecanada.")

And, yes, checking twitter, #freehoder does indeed seem to be the hashtag most in use, along with #freehoder #hosseinderakhshan #iranelection and #hoder.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:58 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, zennie!
posted by scody at 4:09 PM on September 20, 2010


Thanks ocherdraco. Just tweeted my first #freehoder tweet.
posted by bearwife at 4:52 PM on September 20, 2010


Ed Fast (my local MP) said that Canada's foreign officials are aware of the issue and "...are doing everything they can to intervene...". It was nice of him to respond so quickly, but as I said above, I have no idea how much help it is.
posted by deborah at 4:58 PM on September 20, 2010


Published: July 27, 2010

TEHRAN (AP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran inaugurated a new policy on Tuesday to encourage population growth, dismissing decades of internationally acclaimed family planning in Iran as ungodly and a Western import.

On Tuesday, he unveiled a plan to pay families for every new child.

The new government effort will pay families for every new child and deposit money into the newborns’ bank accounts until they reach 18, Mr. Ahmadinejad said. The program effectively rolled back years of efforts to strengthen the economy by reducing population growth.

Those who raise the idea of family planning “are thinking in the realm of the secular world,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said during a ceremony at which he presented the new policy.

The plan is part of his previously stated desire to increase Iran’s population, estimated at more than 70 million. He has previously said Iran could support as many as 150 million people.


I think this is essentially a declaration of intent to go to war in around 20 years, as soon as they grow an overwhelming numerical advantage for their military as compared to any possible regional opponent.

All they would have to worry about then is having nuclear weapons used against them, and I think deterring that is the ultimate reason they want their own nuclear weapons so much.

That's why cgs06's FPP about espionage and the transfer of atom bomb secrets to Venezuela was especially fascinating.

I don't think Chavez has any real hope of making a Bomb, but Chavez and the Ahmedinejad regime are extremely close, and it seems very likely that any such secrets that came into Venezuelan hands would end up in Tehran soon thereafter.

I have no real idea where all that would leave Hoder, but I think public pressure in favor of hard-line approaches to Iran is the only thing that has much of a chance of worrying the current regime.
posted by jamjam at 5:33 PM on September 20, 2010


@Sonja_Jo seems to be a very good person to follow on Twitter about Hoder, as well as recent sentences of death by stoning of women on grounds of adultery
posted by angrycat at 7:22 PM on September 20, 2010


There is some precedent for Iran to release foreign political prisoners even after conviction. This was the case with the American journalist Roxana Saberi, and Frenchwoman Clotilde Reiss. And similarly with the British sailors who were forced to make public confessions before the government released them. I was reading some editorial recently that pointed this out as a pattern (which might also hold for the remaining American hikers).

So I think it's important to remember that the Iranian judicial system is very much a political organ in these sorts of cases, and diplomacy may be the biggest factor in determining hoder's fate.
posted by serathen at 8:57 PM on September 20, 2010


We've sidebarred bearwife's comment in this thread.

I'd really suggest that people who want to get MeFites together to do something collaboratively use the wiki for assembling a "what to do" list [i.e. what to do if you are Canadian, what to do if you are American, Australian, etc] with links and succinct information. I think an FPP on this topic is going to be borderline "this should be in MetaTalk" stuff and since this is here already I think we should work from here primarily but as I said we'll promote stuff as we can. Maybe we can get a banner going across the top. I think we'll be better off doing something this way instead of a "let's help hoder" FPP which is likely to have mixed results.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:32 PM on September 20, 2010


We've sidebarred bearwife's comment in this thread.

Awesome. Thank you!

I think an FPP on this topic is going to be borderline "this should be in MetaTalk" stuff and since this is here already I think we should work from here primarily...

OK. Will not post one, then.

Maybe we can get a banner going across the top.

Love this idea, too.
posted by zarq at 9:42 PM on September 20, 2010


a banner going across the top

bingo. or the modern equivalent: this.
posted by victors at 10:20 PM on September 20, 2010


a banner going across the top

Thank you.
posted by Houstonian at 1:43 AM on September 21, 2010


I'm petition signer #432. My country of residence does have an Iranian embassy and I'm starting a letter to the ambassador, but then I've never written a letter appealing for someone's life before. Maybe I missed it in the links above but it seems that some kind of letter template to guide morons like me in helping out might help motivate more mail?
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:16 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's Amnesty's letter writing guide.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:24 AM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think this is essentially a declaration of intent to go to war in around 20 years, as soon as they grow an overwhelming numerical advantage for their military as compared to any possible regional opponent.

I think he's trying to stabilize internal politics by ensuring that there is an actual Persian majority.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:15 AM on September 21, 2010


This was posted to the "Free Hoder" facebook page a few minutes ago:
Dear Friends,

I believe putting Ahmadinejad under pressure regarding Hossein's case can be very helpfull. He knows Hossein and if he is aksed about him he should react. When he talks about freedom of speech in Iran , he should be reminded that Hossein is in jail for two years and the prosecutor has requested a death penalty for him. Is this freedom of speech?! I think we can ask Larry King to ask Ahmadinejad about Hossein on his Wednesday interview. If we all ask Larry I'm sure he will ask him. So PLEASE , PLEASE , let us all aks Larry King to confront Ahmadinejad about Hossein.
We can write to cnn request page : http://www.facebook.com/l/96cb9;edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.lkl.comment.html?12

He is also on Twitter : http://www.facebook.com/l/96cb9;twitter.com/kingsthings

and we can also write on his facebook page's wall : http://www.facebook.com/CNNLarryKingLive?v=wall&ref=mf


If they receive a few hundred requests I'm sure they will consider it.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help us.

Thank you

Hamed

I'll send a private note to Larry's producers as well.
posted by zarq at 4:59 AM on September 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hyperlinks:

CNN: Larry King's Comment Form

Facebook Wall

Twitter: kingsthings
posted by zarq at 6:40 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


* A few things worth mentioning: President Ahmadenijad has previously called on the Iranian judiciary for Hoder to be allowed to "enjoy all freedoms and legal rights to defend themselves and their rights are not violated."

* Singer/songwriter and activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam wrote a blog post at Iranian.com listing possible contacts in Iran's government, back in December 2008:
Here is Amnesty International's recommended action:

Calling on the authorities to immediately release Hossein Derakhshan or to charge him with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and to promptly try him in proceedings meeting fair trial standards;

Urging the authorities to clarify the whereabouts and status of Hossein Derakhshan, while calling on them to grant him immediate access to his family, legal representation of his choice and any medical attention he may required;

Calling on the authorities to ensure that Hossein Derakhshan is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in custody.

APPEALS TO:

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Tehran 1316814737,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
{This is the same address and contact as that found on the aforementioned petition ~zarq}

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme LeaderIslamic Republic Street -
Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.irSalutation:
Your Excellency

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Tehran 1316814737,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (there are problems with this line, please try three times)
Email: int_aff@judiciary.ir (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

And to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
posted by zarq at 6:56 AM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


To clarify about the Larry King FB page, 'cause it wasn't to me at first:

A few posts down he announces the lineup for this Wednesday night, which includes Am. and a buncha other folks. You have to like the Larry King page, and then you can leave a comment about Hoder. Some other folks have down so already, (with relevant links), and you can I suppose cut and paste if that's possible or just do as I did and indicate agreement with others who wanted questions put to Am. about Hoder.
posted by angrycat at 7:04 AM on September 21, 2010


There are 2 "Free Hossein Derakhshan" groups - I joined both but is one the "better" one to join?

One is called "Free Hossein Derakhshan // Libérez Hossein Derakhshan"

The other is "Free Hossein Derakhshan NOW!(Canadian Blogger imprisoned in Iran)"
posted by IndigoRain at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2010


Indigo, I got the email from Hamed via the first group, for whatever that's worth.

Here's my tweet to King:

@kingsthings Please ask the Iranian President about the imprisonment of blogger Hoder on Wed.'s show.

we have 39 more characters in which to put something else, like a url. Ideas?
posted by angrycat at 7:19 AM on September 21, 2010


Emailed the Larry King show and hopefully they'll ask. I'm worried they'll just focus on the imprisoned Americans though.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:33 AM on September 21, 2010


Please consider including the hashtag #freehoder Other people who search for it will see your tweet and may retweet or appeal to King themselves.

You might also consider including a URL to the MeTa Hoder tag: http://bit.ly/9gQpZs

That's a shortened version of: http://metatalk.metafilter.com/tags/hoder
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on September 21, 2010


I think this is essentially a declaration of intent to go to war in around 20 years

Unlikely IMO. Technology is rapidly removing the need for boots. Look at the changes this past decade. Double the time period, 10x the changes.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:42 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about the recent Global Voices Advocacy article? http://bit.ly/bKnRwh
posted by zennie at 7:55 AM on September 21, 2010


@kingsthings Please speak to Iranian President w/r/t imprisonment of blogger Hoder on Wed.'s show. #freehoder http://bit.ly/bKnRwh

(link is Global Voices Advocacy article)
posted by angrycat at 8:00 AM on September 21, 2010


Tweeted: Ask Ahmedinajhad about blogger H. Derakhshan, on trial &; facing poss. execution. http://bit.ly/bKnRwh #freehoder #iranelection
posted by zennie at 8:05 AM on September 21, 2010


While I, and many other Australians, have great sympathy with the struggle of the Iranian people against those who would deny you the rights to self determination and freedom of speech, it is with great sadness that I learn of Hossein Derakhshan's detention. I implore you to release this great Iranian, and show the strength of character and nobility for which your country is known. -- from petition signer #452
posted by Henrik at 9:30 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


It seems like we should make a one page site explaining the situation and how insane the death penalty is, putting it at something like freehoder.com (someone seems to own that already). It'd be a good place to coordinate efforts and point others at.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:06 AM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, I think that would be great.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:13 AM on September 21, 2010


NYT story. (sorry if this was linked before and I missed it)
posted by mercredi at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did people see this twitter account?

http://twitter.com/hodertwitition

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:55 AM on September 21, 2010


Notice that Ahmadinejad is in fact a friend-of-a-friend of a number of people who are very prominent in the US and Europe.

Hugo Chavez has for a long time been a close ally for Ahmadinejad, and in turn men such as Oliver Stone and Michael Moore have been frequently supporting Chavez, and I have not heard much from them regarding the situation in Iran. Maybe it's high time from them to take a stand.
posted by Anything at 11:34 AM on September 21, 2010


from -> for
posted by Anything at 11:38 AM on September 21, 2010


It seems like we should make a one page site explaining the situation and how insane the death penalty is, putting it at something like freehoder.com (someone seems to own that already). It'd be a good place to coordinate efforts and point others at.

It would be worth checking whether hoder.com is available now, Matt.
posted by zennie at 11:52 AM on September 21, 2010


Hoder.com is currently registered to Hoder.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on September 21, 2010


Go Daddy made an exception last year when his domain expired and renewed it for a year. They also promised not to renew it this year unfortunately.
posted by Mitheral at 12:33 PM on September 21, 2010


This is being tweeted under the #freehoder tag but it is in Farsi. Don't know if there's any news in there.
posted by angrycat at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2010


> This is being tweeted under the #freehoder tag but it is in Farsi. Don't know if there's any news in there.

According to Google translator, there's no new information there.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:41 PM on September 21, 2010


What about posting links to this metatalk thread on the facebook pages supporting hoder? Would that be kosher?
posted by angrycat at 1:30 PM on September 21, 2010


The Iranian consulate in Canada would probably be a good idea for letter-writers (especially Canadian ones) as well:

(I get nothing for "Head of the Mission" on their site; as of 2002, it was Mohammad Ali Mousavi but I don't have anything more recent than 2002 at hand).

245 Metcalfe St.
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 2K2
Canada
posted by Shepherd at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2010


Go Daddy made an exception last year when his domain expired and renewed it for a year. They also promised not to renew it this year unfortunately.

OK. For some reason I thought that was over a year ago, but it's not quite.
posted by zennie at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2010


533 on the petition. I'm wondering now how to make a respectful argument for Hoder's release without sounding fighty. Terms like "immediate release" sound a little pushy to me.

I'm thinking about appealing to their intellect by talking about how if one lives in the west for so long "freedoms" that we take for granted here may be easily perceived as illegal elsewhere, that no harm or disrespect was intended and that Hoder, as a result of his travels, was simply accustomed to speaking his mind on various issues. Because of this, and the fact that he is loved and respected by so many, that to show understanding of these matters, leniency and hopefully release from prison, that the leaders of Iran will be seen in an even more favorable light. Their great honor and integrity will be evident.

I could probably go on to say that I have many American-Iranian friends who now fear visiting relative in Iran because they fear imprisonment for blogging and using the internet.

Anyway, I'll actually craft up some letters, they won't be written so badly. I'd like to know if anyone thinks this line of thinking is ok. I don't want to start shooting letters over there unless the thinking is pretty right on.
posted by snsranch at 3:17 PM on September 21, 2010


This is currently the front page story on The Toronto Star's homepage. It's from the Canadian Press news agency originally so it will hopefully be picked up by the other big papers.
posted by flipper at 3:19 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


> so it will hopefully be picked up by the other big papers.

NYT
posted by Burhanistan at 3:48 PM on September 21, 2010


555 on the petition.
posted by freshwater at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2010


559, I saw this because of the sidebar.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:00 PM on September 21, 2010


562.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:13 PM on September 21, 2010


I am always afraid to sign petitions like this because I suspect my support will do more harm than good. Will having the support of a godless American like me be yet more fuel for his enemies? What about the support of people with "Jewish" last names?
posted by small_ruminant at 5:17 PM on September 21, 2010


565; sent question request to Larry King; working on the list of letters to other officials.
posted by Houstonian at 5:31 PM on September 21, 2010


566.
posted by hermitosis at 5:35 PM on September 21, 2010


I emailed letters to the people zarq listed. The ones to the people listed under "COPIES TO" did not go through. (I presume the others did go through.)

~~~~
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

info@leader.ir

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.1.1 : Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table (state 14).

~~~~
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

int_aff@judiciary.ir

Technical details of permanent failure:
DNS Error: Domain name not found

posted by Houstonian at 6:44 PM on September 21, 2010


I really don't know what to make of this article from the Toronto Star. It does not make him appear very sympathetic. Should this be responded to in some way?

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/864519--toronto-based-blogger-faces-execution-in-iran
posted by angrycat at 9:00 PM on September 21, 2010


Angrycat, his change in positions on some issues is also mentioned in the Global Voices story. I think it's kind of aside the point.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:03 PM on September 21, 2010


supporters can contact the Canadian Embassy in Iran on teran@international.gc.ca to push for action. [via]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:19 PM on September 21, 2010


Globe and Mail front page.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:02 AM on September 22, 2010


From the Globe & Mail comments:

Let's get this straight. You've escaped a third world despotic hell hole. Got a Canadian passport. Trash talked the old country. Go back and are surprised that your welcome home doesn't go so well.

And you want me to be sympathetic? It was your choice. Live with it. Or not.


Um, it's totally normal for people in exile to have concern for the state of their home country. After all, they most likely have relatives & friends there, along with a cultural & community connection. To leave it all behind as soon as you reach a safe country is arguably a low & cowardly act, while trying to improve the lot of the people stuck back home is the obvious choice for anybody with even a semblance of humanity.

PS. Iran is far from being third world, and - aside from the current political leadership - could hardly be described as a hell hole.

/ can't be bothered signing up for an account but must vent spleen.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:33 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that Globe & Mail article is FILLED with those comments. Awful.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:08 AM on September 22, 2010


I doubt this will help much but John Weston is "he first ever Government Liaison to the Canadian Persian and Iranian Community" according to his website. I know this because he's the representative for my riding. I've listed his email address below.

westoj@parl.gc.ca
posted by Pseudology at 6:19 AM on September 22, 2010


Wrote to Iranian consulate in Canberra, signed gopetition as #400 and something.

It weighs a feather more than nothing.
posted by Wolof at 6:53 AM on September 22, 2010


flibbertigibbet: "Yeah, that Globe & Mail article is FILLED with those comments. Awful"

I wonder if there is a newspaper anywhere with significant readership whose comment areas aren't cesspools. I can't remember ever stumbling upon one and it fills me with despair.
posted by Mitheral at 7:13 AM on September 22, 2010


A translation of an interview with hoder's mother got sent out to member's of the Free Hossein Derakshan group. I'm reposting it here:
Over the last few days and after Kamtarin.com's piece about his trial, the news surrounding prosecution of Hossein Derakhshan, Iranian famous reporter and blogger, has gotten hot again. Slaman, Kamtarin's blogger has succeeded in interviewing Ozra Kiarashpour, Hossein's mother to discuss his situation:


Hossein 'Hoder' Derakhshan, Iran's Blogfather

- Hello Mrs. Derakhshan, thank you for accepting our interview request.

- Hello. I really do not know what is in Hossein's best interest or what may come at his expense, I can only pray for him. Both myself, as well as his father are very confused these days.

- What is Hossein's current mental state?

- He's very exhausted and short tempered. To me, he's extremely depressed. He's very tired after two years of prison, loneliness and not knowing what's to come. From what he tells us, he spends most of his days sleeping. Recently he has requested to be transferred out of solitary and into the general population and they instead agreed to change his section to give him a better spot and planted rose bushes for him.

- Do have regular meetings with him?

- It is over a year now that we have been able to see him once a week but for the first eight months of his incarceration we had no meetings and had no idea where he was.

- How do guards treat you during your visits?

- Depends on the people present on that day, but in general they are respectful.

- Some still doubt that Hossein is even a prisoner. Few even claim he's helping the government out of a villa in Za'eferaniye. Don't you think the reason behind these rumors is lack of your contact with media?

- For that group, I wish them to never ever have the kind of problems we are dealing with now. For the first few months of his arrest, we were totally confused and didn't know what we had to do. From one side, Hossein had asked that nobody should talk to the foreign media. And the local press wouldn't even get close to us. Within such limitations, his father and I still wrote a letter to the head of judiciary that was spread around to numerous places. And when the environment became a bit clearer for us, my daughter started a weblog to spread the news about Hossein. We have gone through so much over these two years; Hossein's father has had heart problems a few times. When they had told Hossein in prison that his father had a heart attach, he had no phone privilege. My child had cried so much and blamed himself that his situation was more of an agony for both of us. But we didn't even tell Hossein about his father's illness as half of his suffering in there is about us.

- You had written a piece in the weblog you mentioned, JusticeForHoder (http://hosseinderakhshan.wordpress.com/) . Are you also familiar with computers and weblogs?

- Since my children travel in and out of the country, I am compelled to use the Internet as a communication tool. How could I possibly not know about blogging? To be honest, we have had it with Hossein and blogging. Whatever we suffer from today, it all started with Hossein blogging.

- Was Hossein invited to return by the government of Iran?

- To be truthful, he had talked to PressTV about working at their Tehran office. Even in the days before his arrest, he would occasionally go to their office, as we had no high speed Internet at home. Prior to his return, the "Council of Iranians Abroad" had promised Hossein that his trip would be without any issues. He had confirmed with this council that is governmental and in connection with the Ministry of Information. That's why although Hossein knew they'd come for some sort of a Q&A, he had not prepared at all for an imprisonment of this kind and never told us that in such a case, what we should do. The representative from that council told us after his arrest that they had made inquiries but there's not much else they can do. Why should we have such power struggles within country's intelligence community?

- Is Hossein accused of espionage?

- As for the judgment of of the judge, there's nothing we can do but pray as nobody is aware of the future but God. The prosecutor has asked for maximum penalty both for Hossein's punishment as well as to provide an example for others. I am asking as his mother, not as someone whose family has paid dearly for this revolution, why not make an example of Hossein as someone who has turned on his old ways, returned to his country and is ready to detail his previous deeds and thoughts. You want an example for the people, so they believe repentance is useless? Supporting the regime brings you such harsh rewards? All of this family, during all these hard years, have supported this regime. Hossein is also one of us. It will not be fair to subject him to such severe punishment, for honesty in recounting his life experience.

- If released, will Hossein leave Iran?

- Hossein was very tired of living abroad and even today to comfort us, he says that he has been prisoned in Iran for two years and the last few before that he was in another prison abroad.

- Thank you for the interview, we hope his status is rapidly resolved.
#620; sent Larry King Live a comment.
posted by Kattullus at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Canadian Foreign Affairs minister is supposedly pushing for access to Hoder.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 AM on September 22, 2010


I wrote Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I kept is civil. I tried to be persuasive.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:12 AM on September 22, 2010


Amazing. Our government actually appears to be making an effort. This is essentially unprecedented.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on September 22, 2010


Any high-profile action occurring at this critical moment is the cumulative result of the seemingly small actions that you and others have taken since hoder's arrest in 2008. Please keep that in mind if you doubt what your individual contribution could do. Sometimes we only get what we want only because we won't shut up about it.
posted by zennie at 11:36 AM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Angrycat, his change in positions on some issues is also mentioned in the Global Voices story. I think it's kind of aside the point.

Obviously its beside the point. My concern is that the article seemed to emphasize the change in his views over his imprisonment and possible execution.
posted by angrycat at 11:58 AM on September 22, 2010


I agree.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2010


The Amad. Larry King appearance is tonight, if anybody wants to message King via facebook and twitter. On facebook, he's asking what questions should be asked.

I'm friends with an Iranian expat who is very tuned into things; I've invited her to metafilter and hopefully she will pop in to offer her thoughts.
posted by angrycat at 1:16 PM on September 22, 2010


Hossein Derakhshan's was featured tonight on CBC's evening radio show As it Happens. Here is the direct link to the episode - it is in the "Listen to Part One" at approximatly the 14 minute mark (you can move the slider around in the pop up media window).
posted by zenon at 6:18 PM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone catch the Larry King episode? Did he mention this?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:13 AM on September 23, 2010


> Anyone catch the Larry King episode? Did he mention this?

Not a word.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 AM on September 23, 2010


Andrew Sullivan mentioned the news today.
posted by arnicae at 8:49 AM on September 23, 2010


Amazing. Our government actually appears to be making an effort. This is essentially unprecedented.

Holy shit and thank dog. I hope something comes of it.
posted by Ouisch at 10:12 AM on September 23, 2010


Cannon said that although the Iranian regime does not recognize Derakhshan's Canadian citizenship

Anyone know how this works? How can they not recognize his citizenship?
posted by Ouisch at 10:13 AM on September 23, 2010


Anyone know how this works? How can they not recognize his citizenship?

From the U.S. State Dept.:

However, the Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality and will treat U.S. - Iranian dual nationals solely as Iranian citizens subject to Iranian laws.

Presumably the same is true for any other dual citizenship.
posted by Errant at 11:09 AM on September 23, 2010


Ah, I see.
posted by Ouisch at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2010


the Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality and will treat U.S. - Iranian dual nationals solely as Iranian citizens subject to Iranian laws.

Yep, this was exactly their position when they detained Haleh Esfandiari in 2007.
posted by scody at 12:46 PM on September 23, 2010


L.A. Times coverage.
posted by scody at 1:34 PM on September 23, 2010


I have no idea what's going on with the petitions, and have been unsuccessful finding out. They are pushing www.freetheblogfather.org now. I wish people would answer emails. :(
posted by zennie at 2:16 PM on September 23, 2010


AFP
posted by kliuless at 6:24 PM on September 23, 2010


I got a little info about the older petition from its author:
I am the Director of The Iran Information Project and yes, we are actively involved on a daily basis with Iranian's and Iran.

Release Hossein 'Hoder' Derakhshan from Evin Prison was written to Larijani for specific reasons however, I included 'et al' with the foresight that it may have to be directed to other parties if Larijani failed to acknowledge the petition.

I have added the new petition to our website and to the Urgent Action section which can be viewed here. Free The Blogfather Hossein Derakhshan: http://iran-information-project.org/pages/search/1findnum.php?thenumber=191

The original petition can be viewed here @Iran_IP #72 Release Hossein 'HoderFarrakhanan from Evin Prison http://iran-information-project.org/pages/search/1findnum.php?thenumber=72

@Iran_IP is our twitter feed which post one of the 191 petitions every five minutes to #Iranelection #Iran and #fb 24 hours a day.

You may also link the original to your page if you wish to do so. If you need more information please feel free to contact me at http://iran-information-project.org/pages/contact.php which is secure and only I have access to this account.

Kindest Regards,

Walton K. Martin III
Dr. Gill Gillespie PhD.
Directors, The Iran Information Project
Maybe someone else could try contacting the authors of the newer petition? It would be nice for all the names to be counted at the same time.
posted by zennie at 7:46 PM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have been informed, "The researcher at International PEN has been advised, by someone very close to the family, that they do not wish a great deal of public/media attention at this time, so we are following closely, but until we are told otherwise we won't do anything public."
posted by zennie at 11:18 PM on September 23, 2010


Ugh. We gotta get him out of there.
posted by cashman at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2010


Hoder's story was covered briefly, with a photo, in the UK Metro a couple of days ago. It's a freesheet distributed on public transport, so has a wide readership. The Guardian have given him some blog coverage but I don't know if it's printed anything.
posted by rory at 3:01 AM on September 25, 2010


I've just heard a story on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. It's not up on npr.org yet (it should be by noon EST today). On their website, articles are highlighted in the sidebar by how many people recommend them (kind of like NYT's "Most Emailed" box). Right now, the top article in that section has 58 recommendations, and the bottom one has 33. Surely we can top that.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:25 AM on September 26, 2010


Hoder on NPR's On the Media
posted by orville sash at 10:16 AM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


A report this morning says that Hoder has been sentenced to 19½ years in prison.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:31 AM on September 28, 2010


I'm relieved he's not being executed and that there's hope of appeal.

Still, that's just awful, heartbreaking news. Damn, damn, damn. :(
posted by zarq at 5:51 AM on September 28, 2010


Shit. Fingers crossed for the appeal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:53 AM on September 28, 2010


I really think this news should be posted to the Blue.

Jessamyn, cortex and mathowie, do you have any objection? (I don't have to be the one to do it, of course.)
posted by zarq at 6:56 AM on September 28, 2010


This really isn't one of those situations where we give our blessings. There's a sidebar note about this thread. Someone is welcome to make a FPP about it, as they are about any topic. It would be nice, however, if a post could be made that didn't start people hollering at each other, as posts about disturbing news [Iraq, prison, injustice, death sentence, US imperialism] tend to. My feeling is that the topic is being discussed here and making a post about it purely to bring more attention to the topic from the wider MeFi audience seems more like a "this is an important thing everyone SHOULD know about" post rather than a "this is something neat I found on the web." post.

However, the site does not belong to us which is why the idea of asking us if it's okay is a bit odd. Do I have objections? Sure, posts like this often go badly and I'm not sure what would be accomplished bringing this to a wider audience when it's already been discussed here and linked from the blue, but ultimately it's your decision.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


With any luck, the bastards running the show in Iran now will have been ousted (hopefully by peaceful means) long before 19 years are up and Hoder and the thousands like him who have been imprisoned for speaking against the regime will be granted clemency.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 AM on September 28, 2010


I can't believe he has an opportunity to appeal. That is really great news.
posted by snsranch at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2010


I am glad he has not been sentenced to death, but damn, 19 years is a long time. I hope Burhanistan's scenario comes true soon.

Link to this morning's CBC Radio segment about Hoder on The Current.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2010


Well it gives him, his family, and his friends a chance to keep on fighting. That's the silver lining, I guess.
posted by angrycat at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2010


I believe Hoder just hit Drudge (via WaPo link) as news.
posted by buzzman at 3:25 PM on September 28, 2010


Hoder and the thousands like him who have been imprisoned for speaking against the regime will be granted clemency a generous state pension and a Hero of the Secular Democratic Republic of Iran medal.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:27 PM on September 28, 2010


This is very good news. But I hope he has gotten his rosebushes.

Why 19 and a half ?

I feel unbelievably burnt out.
posted by zennie at 8:08 PM on September 28, 2010


However, the site does not belong to us which is why the idea of asking us if it's okay is a bit odd.

I was once again asking if you and cortex thought a post on the topic would be likely to turn into a flamewar and be deleted. Nothing more.

My feeling is that the topic is being discussed here and making a post about it purely to bring more attention to the topic from the wider MeFi audience seems more like a "this is an important thing everyone SHOULD know about" post rather than a "this is something neat I found on the web." post.

There's ample precedent. Practically every single newsfilter post falls into the former category, and one or two of those are posted to the front page (and survive) every day.

This story is now getting a decent amount of media attention. If there's a larger story here that does not rehash my other post, I'll put up an FPP. Otherwise, I won't bother.
posted by zarq at 9:31 PM on September 28, 2010


Ottawa demands release of Iran’s ‘blogfather’
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:36 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and I didn't see the newer thread...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2010


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