domingo, junio 27, 2010

Free Hossein Derakhshan

Han empezado las sesiones del juicio al "padre de los blogs" en Irán, el persa-canadiense Hossein Derakhshan, a quien conocí hace años, cuando viajaba libremente por el mundo. Ahora lleva veinte meses en la cárcel de Evin, con acusaciones varias. Ojalá Canadá presione para liberarlo. El eco internacional puede ayudar.
Trial of Iran’s ‘Blogfather’ Begins in Tehran
By ROBERT MACKEY
Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star, via Zuma Press
Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan in Toronto in 2006, the same year he blogged about a trip to Israel. More than a year and a half after he was arrested in Tehran, Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian-Canadian blogger also known as Hoder, was put on trial on Wednesday, according to Iranian news reports and statements by his family posted online. According to Golnaz Esfandiari, who blogs for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the American-financed news organization: Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency reports that the trial of controversial blogger Hossein Derakhshan, known as Iran’s “Blogfather” for helping to popularize blogging in the Islamic republic, began in Tehran on June 23. As The Lede explained in a May 2009 post on Mr. Derakhshan’s case, he was arrested in November 2008, just weeks after he had returned to Iran after living for eight years in Canada and Britain. Mr. Derakhshan had moved to Canada in 2000, Wired magazine explained, “after conservative judicial authorities shut down Asr-e Azadegan, the reformist newspaper where he was a daily tech columnist.” As Wired noted, it was while he was living in Toronto in 2001 that he “figured out a way to combine Unicode and Blogger.com’s free tools to handle Persian characters.” This technical advance meant that “Suddenly, blogging in Persian was as simple as it is in English.” In 2003, The Guardian wrote that Mr. Derakhshan’s “step-by-step guide to creating a Persian weblog should take much of the credit for inspiring thousands of Iranians to start their own blogs.” In 2006, Mr. Derakhshan blogged about his trip to Israel, on both his Persian blog and his English blog. For months after his arrest, little was known of Mr. Derakhshan’s fate, until Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to Tehran’s chief prosecutor in April 2009, asking that Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American charged with spying for the United States, be given an opportunity to present a full defense. In Mr. Ahmadinejad’s letter, he also requested the same treatment for Mr. Derakhshan, who had been reportedly charged with spying for Israel. Ms. Esfandiari noted on Thursday: According to Fars, the charges against Derakhshan include working with “hostile” governments, propaganda against the Islamic establishment, propaganda in favor of antirevolutionary groups, insulting religious sanctities, and launching and managing “obscene” websites. Writing on the recently launched Justice For Hossein Derakhshan blog, Derakhshan’s sister says her parents were not allowed in the courtroom during the June 23 trial session, during which Fars says Derakhshan’s indictment was read. Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American journalist and blogger, pointed out that the start of Mr. Derakhshan’s trial was also reported on the Web site of an Iranian human rights group. Mr. Farivar added: Very little new information has been released beyond this fact, although I managed to get this quote via email from an source close to Derakhshan’s family: “One trial session was held and although no family members were allowed in, but the family remains optimistic that no serious issues exist in his case. Plus, considering the fact that he has already served a long time in prison, most of which has been in solitary confinement, the family doesn’t expect a longer jail sentence. There are more court sessions to be held before the final verdict is out.” In news related to another case before Iran’s judiciary, The Nation on Thursday published an article by an Iranian journalist who reported that two people who witnessed the arrest of three American hikers by Iranian forces last July said that they “were on Iraqi territory when they were arrested—not in Iran, as Iranian officials have asserted. Two additional sources report that the Revolutionary Guards officer who likely ordered their detention has since been arrested on charges of smuggling, kidnapping and murder.”