Trial of Iran’s ‘Blogfather’ Begins in Tehran
New York Times / Robert Mackey

More than a year and a half after he was arrested in Tehran, Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian-Canadian blogger also known as Hoder, was put on trial on Wednesday, according to Iranian news reports and statements by his family posted online.

According to Golnaz Esfandiari, who blogs for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the American-financed news organization:

Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency reports that the trial of controversial blogger Hossein Derakhshan, known as Iran’s “Blogfather” for helping to popularize blogging in the Islamic republic, began in Tehran on June 23.

As The Lede explained in a May 2009 post on Mr. Derakhshan’s case, he was arrested in November 2008, just weeks after he had returned to Iran after living for eight years in Canada and Britain.

Mr. Derakhshan had moved to Canada in 2000, Wired magazine explained, “after conservative judicial authorities shut down Asr-e Azadegan, the reformist newspaper where he was a daily tech columnist.” As Wired noted, it was while he was living in Toronto in 2001 that he “figured out a way to combine Unicode and’s free tools to handle Persian characters.”

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