Monday, September 01, 2014

Persian Letters

Sharing A Cell With 'Iran’s Blogfather'

Hossein DerakhshanHossein Derakhshan
Hossein Derakhshan
Hossein Derakhshan
Former lawmaker Ali Shakouri-rad, who was arrested last year on charges of spreading lies and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, has written in his blog that he shared a cell for several weeks with Hossein Derakhshan, who is well-known for popularizing blogging in Iran.

Derakhshan, who was arrested in November 2008 after returning to Iran, has been sentenced to 19 1/2 years in prison over his writings and a trip to Israel. Derakhshan was temporarily released on bail in December.

Shakouri-rad writes in his blog that Derakhshan asked him to write about him upon his release to change the views of those who might have misjudged him.

Derakhshan is a highly controversial figure in Iran. He was a reformist journalist before becoming a government supporter and -- detractors say -- turning against fellow journalists and bloggers.

Shakouri-rad writes that Derakhshan, who is waiting for an appeals court to review his prison sentence, remains a supporter of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad:

"He had lived outside the country for many years and had distanced himself from religion, but with the coming to power of Ahmadinejad and because of his anti-U.S. stances, [Derakhshan] gradually became his supporter. He then returned to Iran and now also approves of Ahmadinejad's domestic policies.

"I was in that [cell] with him for a month; it was an interesting experience maybe for both of us, who are from two different generations with very different views. He believes the Iranian establishment has many supporters around the world who are not religious; he believes being religious is not necessary for supporting this establishment. He believes that is also applicable inside the country and the establishment should not deprive itself of such supporters. He has returned to religion and performs the prayers. He shared a cell for a short time with Hamzeh Ghalebi, the person in charge of the student election headquarters of [opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi], and he was happy that he could again share his views with a reformist. He was suffering from the fact that he couldn't serve Ahmadinejad's government and the Iranian establishment in jail and he considered his jailing a foolish matter."
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Comment Sorting
by: winston from: Canada
March 23, 2011 07:34
This piece shows precisely why I (or any one else for that matter) was never upset about his imprisonment. What a sad man! I hope his beloved regime lets him SERVE them. LOL.... Some people never change, do they?
In Response

by: hass from: NYC
March 23, 2011 15:03
He's quite right that Ahmadinejad has a popular base, and by all accounts he DID win the elections. Those who spit bile at Derakhshan for simply stating the truth have no morals. Your wishful thinking is just no shared by others, get used to it. Derakhshan's error was in going to Israel and obviously taunting the regime but his views on AN's popularity are quite correct, whether the exiles and VOA fans want to admit it or not.
In Response

by: Winston from: Canada
March 26, 2011 04:17
Of course you'd say that. Qaddafi and Bashar Assad claim they have popular support. Husni Mubarak claimed the same thing. So did Hitler and Stalin and Saddam Hussein who always got 99% of the vote every time they held 'elections' and I am not surprised to hear that same thing from you. Dictatorial regimes have SUPPORTERS. Hoder is one of them, no doubt about it. And that is why he belongs to that cell. But keep your opinions to yourself. The Iranian regime is hated and it will fall soon.

by: M from: USA/Tajikistan
March 23, 2011 08:09
Disturbing. This brings to mind the ending of Orwell's 1984.

by: Majid from: USA
March 23, 2011 14:59
Don't forget he has been in jail for such a long time. He has to say what he has to say in order to get out. Also when you spend a long time in jail and therefore get isolated of the outside events your ideological system and thoughts gets affected and changed. That is why people like him are thrown in jail, to change, and to realize what kind of price they have to pay for their beliefs.
In Response

by: Winston
March 26, 2011 04:18
I don't think so. He spewed the same garbage when he was free in the west.

by: Anonymous
March 23, 2011 17:03
Thanks for posting this. Derakhshan has the right to support whoever he wants and it's terribly wrong that he's been jailed. Let's hope he will be released soon.

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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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