Free Hoder (written by Nazanin Afshin-Jam)

By: Nazanin Afshin-Jam 

Four years ago, just after winning the Miss World Canada title, I was interviewed by independent journalist Hossein Derakhshan for a broadcast on BBC Persian.  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. 
A couple of years later, his writing drastically changed from one spectrum to the other. In the last year and half, the self-proclaimed Iranian “Blogfather” who used to praise and acknowledge those involved in the reformist movement, has practically defamed and slandered the most active Iranian Human Rights defenders including  Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, women’s rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar, Iranian-Canadian scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian-American scholar Haleh  Esfandiari  and International human rights lawyer Payam Akhavan.  I also personally experienced Derakhshan’s 180 degree about-face when he posted pure lies about me in his blog and in Iran’s state run newspaper “Kayhan”.

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.”

As a concerned fellow Iranian-Canadian, a few weeks ago ,I provided  information about Derakhshan to the Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism. I spoke with him face to face last week where I provided more up to date information about his case.  The government of Canada is well informed about Derakhshan and  is taking matters into their hands.

If Hossein Derakhshan is currently being detained by Iranian officials under duress and is in risk of danger, he must be released immediately.
Here is Amnesty International’s recommended action:

Calling on the authorities to immediately release Hossein Derakhshan or to charge him with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and to promptly try him in proceedings meeting fair trial standards;

Urging the authorities to clarify the whereabouts and status of Hossein Derakhshan, while calling on them to grant him immediate access to his family, legal representation of his choice and any medical attention he may required;

Calling on the authorities to ensure that Hossein Derakhshan is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in custody.

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.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam is an international human rights activist and President and Co-Founder of “Stop Child Executions Organization”

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