Free Hoder

In Support of Hossein Derakhshan

Hoder’s Arrest Confirmed by Iran

In the midst of continued attacks upon Gaza, Iran has finally confirmed the arrest of Hossein Derakhshan.

From the Associated Press via the International Herald Tribune:

Iran confirmed on Tuesday that a well-known Iranian-Canadian blogger, who had made trips to Israel, was in detention.

Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters that Hossein Derakhshan was detained under order from the revolutionary court.

Derakshan, described as the “father” of Iran’s vigorous blogging scene, had been rumored to be in prison for the last two months according to international human rights groups, before Tuesday’s confirmation.

He was detained in November, few weeks after he returned to Iran.

Jamshidi says Derakhshan was charged with insulting religious figures. He did not elaborate.

And Reuters:

“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.

Write to:

57 Shahid Sarafraz Street
Ostad Motahari Avenue
Tehran, 15868, Iran

Postal Address
P.O. Box 11155-4647
Tehran, 15868, Iran

Tel.: 98 (21) 8152-0000
Fax: 98 (21) 8873-3200

List of MPs can be found here.


December 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Statement by Iranian Bloggers on Hossein Derakhshan

A group of Iranian bloggers have made a public statement regarding the arrest of Hossein Derakhshan. The statement, originally posted at, also appeared on MR Zine, and reads:

We, the undersigned, view the circumstances surrounding the Iranian authorities’ arrest of Hossein Derakhshan aka Hoder, one of the most prominent Iranian bloggers, as extremely worrying. Derakhshan’s disappearance, detention at an unknown location, lack of access to his family and attorneys, and the authorities’ failure to provide clear information about his potential charges is a source of concern for us.

The Iranian blogging community is one of the largest and most vibrant in the world. From ordinary citizens to the President, a diverse and large number of Iranians are engaged in blogging. These bloggers encompass a wide spectrum of views and perspectives, and they play a vital role in open discussions of social, cultural and political affairs.

Unfortunately, in recent years, numerous websites and blogs have been routinely blocked by the authorities, and some bloggers have been harassed or detained. Derakhshan’s detention is but the latest episode in this ongoing saga and is being viewed as an attempt to silence and intimidate the blogging community as a whole.

Derakhshan’s own position regarding a number of prisoners of conscience in Iran has been a source of contention among the blogging community and has caused many to distance themselves from him. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that the freedom of expression is sacred for all not just the ones with whom we agree.

We therefore categorically condemn the circumstances surrounding Derakhshan’s arrest and detention and demand his immediate release.

Signed, in alphabetical order:

Arash Abadpour

Niki Akhavan

Hossein Bagher Zadeh

Sanam Dolatshahi

Mehdi Jami

Jahanshah Javid

Abdee Kalantari

Sheema Kalbasi

Nazli Kamvari

Nazy Kaviani

Peyvand Khorsandi

Nikahang Kowsar

Omid Memarian

Pedram Moallemian

Ali Moayedian

Ebrahim Nabavi

Masoome Naseri

Shahrnush Parsipur

Khodadad Rezakhani

Leva Zand

(View the original for links to the signatories’ blogs).

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Advocating for Hoder

There are a number of advocacy groups, journalists, and news outlets which have been advocating for Hoder. Today, an article at by Nazanin Afshin-Jam, former Miss World Canada and Iranian-Canadian human rights advocate was posted.

In the article, Afshin-Jam details how she was interviewed by Hossein Derakhshan four years ago after winning her title; she states:

At that time I found Derakhshan, aka “Hoder”, to be a young, hip, Iranian-Canadian with a good sense of humour. I admired the fact that he publicly wrote on his blogs about democratic reform and the repression of freedom of expression that exists in Iran under the current regime.

She then goes on to say that a few years later she witnessed Derakhshan’s change in politics and was even victim to his criticism in her own blog. Yet, she still supports his release, stating:

Despite Mr. Derakhshan’s controversial, and slanderous record, he should be protected by law under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Articles 9 and 10 of the UDHD state that: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” and “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

Afshin-Jam urges readers to take action by writing to Iranian authorities:


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: (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

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


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: (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

And to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment