Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I will try to explain soon why I have not posted for some time. However my post today is not to do with me or with Sam. It is about an Iranian blogger - Hossein Derakhshan, known as Hoder.

Not long after I started this blog I suddenly got a huge number of hits - far more than usual. Why I wondered was this? I discovered that Hoder had written a post that linked to my blog. I discovered he was an Iranian, at that time living in Canada with a huge following in Iran. I forget the details now but it turned out he had a family member who also suffered from mental health problems. We exchanged a couple of emails.

I had forgotten him until by chance I came across a short article hidden in a corner of today's newpaper. It has taken me some time to track it down on the net.

In brief he returned to Iran where he has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for anti-state activities because of his blogging. Reports said that prosecutors had requested he be given the death penalty.

The newspaper article is here with further comment here and here.

In the UK there is a charity and campaigning organisation called Amnesty which tries to act in support of people unjustly detained across the world. They have written of his case here. You will find there a link to a page to "Take Action" about such injustices.

I guess my blog has in part been a campaign about Tom being detained, if not unjustly, at least for reasons outside of his and our control for nearly ten years. Hossein Derakhshan is in danger of being detained for writing about and supporting democracy in his home country.

I urge all readers to do anything they feel able to protest about this and offer him support.

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