A petition to free Canadian-Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan is circulating worldwide just days after his family and Canadian freedom of expression organizations confirmed he may face a death sentence after spending nearly two years in an Iranian prison.
By Wednesday afternoon, the Free Hossein Derakhshan page on Facebook, set up by international organizers, had about 1,700 members and more than 160 people had signed a new online petition supporting Derakhshan on www.freetheblogfather.org.
On Tuesday, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and PEN Canada, an international organization working for writers who are persecuted, imprisoned and exiled, learned from Derakhshan’s family that the Iranian prosecutor in his case has called for the death penalty.
Hossein ‘Hoder’ Derakhshan, 35 and often nicknamed the Iranian “blogfather,” has been in an Iranian prison since he was arrested when he returned to the country on Nov. 1, 2008.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told Postmedia News Wednesday that consular officials have been in contact with Iranian authorities since they learned of Derakhshan’s arrest years ago.
He said Iran does not legally recognize dual nationality.
“Canada continues to urge Iran … >>>