Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canadian blogger in need of help

This Iranian-Canadian blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, has been imprisoned in Iran for almost two years now, caught up in the Iranian regime's draconian justice system. He's said now to be facing the death penalty after a trial on charges that stem essentially from his great crime of helping introduce blogging capabilities to Iranians a few years ago and exercising his right to free speech while outside Iran.

The Canadian government is pressing for consular access and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and PEN Canada are actively advocating on his behalf as well:
"This is a dark day for all who value human rights and free expression," said Ellen Seligman, President of PEN Canada. "We are deeply disturbed and dismayed to learn that, after nearly two years in prison for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, Hossein Derakhshan may now face a death sentence. We ask that all measures be taken by the government of Iran to prevent this action from proceeding further."

CJFE and PEN Canada urge the government of Iran to uphold the human rights of its citizens, ensure that this heinous sentence does not go forward, and provide Derakhshan with his basic rights including complete access to his lawyer, visits from his family and humane treatment. The organizations also join with Derakhshan's family in asking for the Canadian government's intervention.
There is a petition that can be signed and there is a Facebook group as well. Circulating the information and raising awareness is the least that we Canadian bloggers can do.