Tuesday, November 25, 2008Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is concerned by reports over the past week that blogger Hossein Derakhshan may have been arrested in Iran. The news of his arrest comes from an Iranian website called Jahan News which is said to have connections to the Iranian government, but which is not known for its reliability. The site also reported that he had been charged with spying for Israel. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) website also published what appears to be quotes from 'Hossein D'. CJFE has been unable to confirm these reports and currently no official announcement has been made by the government of Iran. Derakhshan, known online as 'Hoder', is known as the 'blogfather' in Iran for his work as a pioneer in Iran's blogging movement. His personal blogs can be found here and here, although he has not written on them since November 1, 2008. Born in Tehran, Iran, Derakhshan moved to Canada in 2000 and lived here for several years; he most recently lived in England, and arrived in Iran several weeks ago. Derakhshan, who holds both Canadian and Iranian citizenships, has travelled on at least two occasions to Israel on his Canadian passport; Iranians are forbidden to travel to Israel. Derakhshan reported that his Iranian passport had been confiscated by officials upon entering Iran. CJFE condemns the illegal arrest of all journalists and writers. We will continue to monitor this case, and call upon the Iranian government to confirm Hossein Derakhshan's whereabouts and status. If it is confirmed that Derakhshan has been arrested for exercising his right to free expression, we call for his release. About Canadian Journalist for Free Expression CJFE is an association of journalists and other free expression advocates who work to preserve and promote media freedom and free expression. Proceeds support the programs of CJFE.
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