December 8, 2010

For more than nine years, Hossein Derakhshan (aka Hoder) was a prolific blogger living in Canada with freedoms much like everyone else. He started his blog in 2001 called “Sardabir: khodam”, or "Editor: Myself" which became a hit among Iranian and Canadian activists calling for more freedoms under the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has been credited with starting the blogging revolution in Iran, which has challenged its free speech laws. Three years later, his weblog among others were blocked by the Iranian authorities. In 2006, he visited Israel as a Canadian citizen to start dialogue between Iranian and Israeli people. After his arrival to Canada, he was warned by Iranian authorities to not come to Iran again. On November 1, 2008 he was arrested in his family home in Tehran and was kept in an Iranian prison without trial until March 2010. During his trial, several Iranian officials called for a lifetime sentence and the death penalty. On September 28, Derakhshan was sentenced to 19 ½ years in prison.
The St Paul’s High School Human Rights group encourages all students to join our fight for free speech around the world. We ask that every student, teacher and alumnus sign the linked petition demanding his immediate release from prison and join the linked facebook group to spread the word. Action cannot happen if people sit idle in the face of injustice! Sign the petition, spread the word and help make the world a better place!


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