HOSSEIN DERAKHSHAN’s self-portrait


Blogger Hossein Derakhshan (Hoder) was arrested at his
family home in Tehran on 1

November. Denied access to his family and tolegal
representation,no one knows where

Hossein Derakhshan is held. Although he has been allowed
to make four telephone

calls to his home, each lasting around one minute,the
last was in late November. He

may face torture or other ill-treatment while held

Hossein Derakhshan holds dual Iranian-Canadian
nationality. He travelled to Iran at the

end of October on a travel document issued by Iran’s
embassy in Paris as the country

does not recognize dual nationality. He continued to blog
while in Iran, up to the time

of his arrest on 1 November. Reports indicate that he was
arrested at his family home

by six plain clothed officials who are said to have had a
search warrant. Following a

search, his computer and other personal possessions were
removed and he was taken

to an unknown destination.

Reports indicate that he is held under the authority of
Branch 1 of the Tehran

Revolutionary Court and though not charged, he is
believed to be facing accusations

of ”insulting religion”, possibly in his blogs.


Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

which is legally binding. Article 19 of the ICCPR
guarantees freedom of expression

and states that: “Everyone shall have the right to
hold opinions without interference”

and that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom
of expression; this right shall include

freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
of all kinds, regardless of

frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the
form of art, or through any other

media of his choice. These rights are to certain
restrictions, but these shall only be

such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For
respect of the rights or

reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national
security or of public order

or of public health or morals.”

Yet, a catalogue of vaguely worded laws is used in Iran
to repress and criminalize

dissent and public debate. For example, under article 513
of Iran’s Penal Code,

offences considered to amount to an ”insult” to
religion can be punished by death

or prison terms of between one and five years. Article
698 of the Penal Code concerns

the intentional creation of ”anxiety and unease in the
public’s mind”, ”false rumours”

or writing about ”acts which are not true”, even if it
is a quotation, and provides for

between two months and two years’ imprisonment or up to
74 lashes. For more

information see Iran: A legal system that fails to
protect freedom of expression and

association (AI Index MDE13/045/2001), at:


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as
quickly as possible, in English,

Persian or your own language:

– calling on the authorities to immediately release
Hossein Derakhshan or to charge him

with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and
to promptly try him in proceedings

meeting fair trial standards;

– urging the authorities to clarify the whereabouts and
status of Hossein Derakhshan,

while calling on them to grant him immediate access to
his family, legal representation

of his choice and any medical attention he may required;

– calling on the authorities to ensure that Hossein
Derakhshan is not tortured or otherwise

ill-treated while in custody.


of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of
the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In
the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation: Your Excellency

of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street,
Pasdaran Avenue,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office
of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@leader.ir

Salutation: Your Excellency

Human Rights Headquarters of Iran

His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of
the Judiciary)

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic

Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (there are problems with this line,
please try three times)

Email: int_aff@judiciary.ir (In
the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to
your country.

Check with the International Secretariat, or your

section office, if sending appeals after 26 January 2009.



Addition in October 2013: 

Hossein was sentenced to 19 years of prison in 2010, and he is still there since 2008.