A blog can be many things. For some it is an opportunity to let the world know their dreams, for some a way to let the world know their reality, and for some to inspire others to make a difference. The long-running blog by Hossein Derakhshan, otherwise known as “the blogfather of Iran”, has achieved all these.
Hossein is a dual national Canadian – Iranian and was one of the first Iranian bloggers and has remained one of the most active.
Freedom of speech and Freedom of the media are fundamental rights that the British and Swedish hold dear to their hearts. Unfortunately those freedoms are not so readily available to everyone. An Iranian court has sentenced Hossein to 19 and a half years in prison, banned him from political and journalist activities and fined him €30,000 – simply for exercising his right to express his opinions! And in Iran this is not a one-off, since June of last year 170 journalists have been arrested and this year in March thirteen bloggers were imprisoned.
It is important that those of us who enjoy the fundamental freedoms of human rights never forget how lucky we are and seek to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Reporters Without Borders have more on this story and an online petition calling for Hossein’s release.