Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 13:56 GMT

Iranian-Canadian blogger has been detained, judiciary confirms

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 30 December 2008
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Iranian-Canadian blogger has been detained, judiciary confirms, 30 December 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4962233523.html [accessed 25 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

December 30, 2008

Hossein Derakhshan has been detained in Iran only weeks after returning to his homeland.Hossein Derakhshan has been detained in Iran only weeks after returning to his homeland.

A prominent Iranian-Canadian blogger has been detained and his case is being investigated, Iran's judiciary said today in the first official public confirmation about his whereabouts.

Hossein Derakhshan, nicknamed the "Blogfather" for his role in pioneering a blogging revolution in Iran, last updated his blog in October and Canadian media reports, quoting a friend, said he was detained on November 1 during a visit to Iran.

Derakhshan was being held on charges of spying for Israel, a country the Islamic republic does not recognize, according to Canadian media.

"His case is in a preliminary investigative stage at a revolutionary court and he is currently in incarceration in a jail in Tehran," judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told a news conference when asked about Derakhshan's case.

Revolutionary courts handle national security cases.

The spokesman did not give further details.

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner and rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, earlier in December called for Derakhshan's release, although at the time she said she could not confirm independently that he had been detained.

Derakhshan, 33, was a journalist in Tehran before moving to Toronto in 2000. He made his name by publishing instructions on how to use blogging software to publish blogs in Farsi, sparking an explosion of blogging in the Iranian language.

Critical of the Tehran government in the past, Derakhshan has recently been more sympathetic to Tehran. He visited Israel in 2006 and said at the time that this might mean he would not be able to go back to Iran "for a long time."

(by Reuters)

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

Search Refworld