Iranian-Canadian blogger faces execution in Iran

Jailed since returning to Iran in 2008

Iranian prosecutors have reported the death penalty against Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger credited with launching the dissident Persian blogosphere, the Toronto Star reports. Derakhshan lived in Toronto for eight years, and was arrested after returning to Iran in 2008, where was jailed for almost two years before facing trial in June. Family and supporters recently learned he might be executed, which a spokesperson for the campaign to free him, called “Free Hoder,” deemed “horrific.” Hoder was Derakhshan’s online name. From Toronto, he started the website, modifying blogging software to use Persian characters and inspiring a wave of Persian bloggers. He courted controversy, and in 2006, switched allegiances when he began writing newspaper op-eds defending Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. As a result, when he was jailed, there wasn’t much outcry, but that changed when supporters learned he may be executed.

Toronto Star

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