Thursday, December 18, 2008

Petition for Hoder

I, along with a number of other bloggers, have put our names on the following petition (available in English and Persian) expressing concern for Hossein Derakhshan and calling for his release. Needless to say, I have several reservations about the whole thing, not the least of which is that the text is in English. If it were up to me, the text would only be in Persian: it is a letter by Iranian bloggers, addressed to the Iranian authorities, about another fellow Iranian blogger. Why does it need to be in English? Furthermore, portions of what the text says and implies--about what a wonderful role bloggers have, how this arrest is being viewed (by whom?), how great we are for signing this petition--are the kinds of statements that are likely to come under scrutiny, and for good reason. Nonetheless, I think the arguments for signing the petition outweigh my reservations in this case, and I hope that it does more good than harm in resolving the situation. Thanks to all of the people who signed the petition and who took time to iron-out some of their differences. If you would like to sign-on to the petition, please go ahead and do so and republish the statement on your own blogs. Please also leave a comment for any of the original signatories that you have also added your signature. I think we will eventually need a more systematic way to figure out how to aggregate all of the signatories, but I suppose this is a good start for now.

Now here is the actual petition:

We, the undersigned, view the circumstances surrounding the Iranian authorities' arrest of Hossein Derakhshan (hoder.com), one of the most prominent Iranian bloggers, as extremely worrying. Derakhshan's disappearance, detention at an unknown location, lack of access to his family and attorneys, and the authorities' failure to provide clear information about his potential charges is a source of concern for us.

The Iranian blogging community is one of the largest and most vibrant in the world. From ordinary citizens to the President, a diverse and large number of Iranians are engaged in blogging. These bloggers encompass a wide spectrum of views and perspectives, and they play a vital role in open discussions of social, cultural and political affairs.

Unfortunately, in recent years, numerous websites and blogs have been routinely blocked by the authorities, and some bloggers have been harassed or detained. Derakhshan's detention is but the latest episode in this ongoing saga and is being viewed as an attempt to silence and intimidate the blogging community as a whole.

Derakhshan's own position regarding a number of prisoners of conscience in Iran has been a source of contention among the blogging community and has caused many to distance themselves from him. This, however, doesn't change the fact that the freedom of expression is sacred for all not just the ones with whom we agree.

We therefore categorically condemn the circumstances surrounding Derakhshan's arrest and detention and demand his immediate release.

ما امضا کنندگان ذیل، شرایط دستگیری حسین درخشان، یکی از سرشناس ترین بلاگرهای ایرانی، توسط مقامات ایران را به شدت نگران کننده می دانیم. ناپدید شدن، حبس در مکانی مجهول، عدم دسترسی به اعضای خانواده و وکلای مدافع، و اعلام نکردن اطلاعات شفاف در خصوص موارد اتهام احتمالی نامبرده همگی باعث نگرانی ما ست.

جامعه وبلاگ نویسان ایران یکی از فعال ترین و بزرگترین جوامع اینترنتی جهان است. از شهروندان معمولی تا رییس جمهور ایران، بسیاری به امر نوشتن در وبلاگهای مختلف مشغول اند. این وبلاگ نویسان دارای طیف وسیعی از عقاید و آرا هستند و نقش مهمی در مباحث اجتماعی، فرهنگی، و سیاسی ایفا می کنند.

متاسفانه ظرف سالهای اخیر، وبسایت ها و وبلاگهای متعددی به صورت منظم توسط مقامات ایران فیلتر شده و شماری از وبلاگ نویسان با آزار و حبس روبرو شده اند. بازداشت حسین درخشان تنها آخرین نمونه از این نوع برخوردها ست و به نظر می آید این اقدام در راستای ایجاد رعب و واداشتن وبلاگ نویسان به سکوت طراحی شده است.

مواضع حسین درخشان در خصوص تعدادی از کسانی که بدلیل عقایدشان زندانی شده اند باعث رنجش جامعه وبلاگ نویسان ایرانی بوده و همین موجب شده بسیاری از آنان از وی دوری بجویند. با اینهمه، این موضوع این حقیقت را نفی نمی کند که آزادی بیان حقی مقدس است و باید برای همه در نظر گرفته شود، نه فقط کسانی که با آنها موافقیم.

بنابرین، ما از این منظر، به طور اصولی شرایط دستگیری و بازداشت حسین درخشان را محکوم می کنیم و خواهان آزادی فوری او هستیم.

Arash Abadpour
http://kamangir.net/

Niki Akhavan
http://benevis-dige.blogspot.com/

Hossein Bagher Zadeh
http://www.iranian.com/bagherzadeh

Sanam Dolatshahi
http://www.khorshidkhanoom.com/

Mehdi Jami
http://sibestaan.malakut.org/

Jahanshah Javid
http://www.iranian.com/

Abdee Kalantari
http://www.nilgoon.org

Sheema Kalbasi
http://www.zaneirani.blogspot.com/

Nazli Kamvari
http://sibiltala.blogspot.com/

Nazy Kaviani
http://nazykaviani.blogspot.com/

Peyvand Khorsandi
http://soulbean.wordpress.com/

Nikahang Kowsar
http://nikahang.blogspot.com/

Omid Memarian
http://omidmemarian.blogspot.com/

Pedram Moallemian
http://www.eyeranian.net/

Ali Moayedian
http://payvand.com/

Ebrahim Nabavi
http://www.doomdam.com/

Masoome Naseri
http://www.mimnoon.com/

Khodadad Rezakhani
http://www.vishistorica.com/

Leva Zand
http://balootak.com/