Tuesday, May 12, 2009
US Journalist Freed, Canadian Blogger Still Behind Bars
The Associated Press reported that American journalist Roxana Saberi, who had been jailed for four months on charges of espionage. Her trial was held in secret, lasted 15 minutes, her lawyer was never allowed to speak and she was sentenced to 8 years. Then... like magic her sentence is reduced to a two years suspended sentence and she is released from prison.
All the US had to do was say that it would increase pressure on Tehran to release her and they did. Amazing.
What about a Canadian blogger that was arrested back in October? Hossein Derakhshan (AKA Hoder, the Blogfather) was originally accused of being a spy for Israel, then the charges were changed to "insulting religion" although no official charges have been laid (that I know of) and apparently the case is still in the discovery phase. The University of Toronto graduate was reported missing back in October of 2008 while he was visiting Iran, a few weeks later Tehran finally confirmed that they were holding Hoder.
What has our government done? We have demanded a fair trial that's about it. We won't touch the case... why? Who the heck knows but the release of this US journalist makes me think we should be working a little harder. So far the only person I've seen really stand up for Hoder is President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, strangely enough, who had written a letter to the Chief Prosecutor requesting that they allow Hoder a full and fair defense when he stands trial.
The cries for Hoder's freedom have become murmurs over the internet, but I hope that the release of Roxana Saberi will reignite hope in the hearts of those campaigning for the Blogther's release.