Saturday, November 22, 2008

Iran's Pioneer Blogger Arrested in Tehran

A pioneer in Iran's blogging community who spent time living in Canada may have been arrested in his native country, according to an unconfirmed local report.

Hossein Derakshan, known online as "Hoder," has written extensively about Iranian politics. He returned to Iran from Canada less than a month ago.

According to a report in Iran's Jahan News website, he was recently arrested in Tehran on suspicion of spying for Israel.

Along with being a highly influential voice in Iran's fledgling online community, he has also written for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

In a post on the newspaper's website from 2007, he called for the impeachment of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But in recent posts on his blog dated from last month, he defends Ahmadinejad from U.S. criticism.

Derakshan moved to Canada in 2000 with his Iranian-Canadian wife, but the couple has since split. He began blogging from Toronto in both Farsi and English, helping to jumpstart a movement of online commentary in his native country.

Before returning to Iran, he had recently spent time living in England.

Hossein Derakshan appears in this undated image taken from his blog.

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