Sunday, March 08, 2009

The letter below was initiated by a group of Muslim bloggers inside Iran and calls on the Head of the Judiciary to act in bringing justice to Hossein Derakhshan, who is now entering his fourth month in detention. At the moment, I wont comment on the letter, but I wanted to translate and post it here so that the text is available in English:

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear God. Verily, God is well-Acquainted with what you do"- The Holy Koran

To the Honorable Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi-

As you are aware, Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian blogger, has been in detention for approximately four months. As Muslim bloggers who believe in the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, the signatories of this letter have no intention of defending all of the past positions, behaviors, and actions of the above named. Yet following the principle of bearing fair witness requires that we state that in recent years Derakhshan not only admitted to his own mistakes and expressed regret about some of his past writings and actions, but he had also gained fame in the weblogistan and in the foreign media for defending the Islamic Revolution and the system of the Islamic Republic.
It is natural that many had reservations about the roots of the changes in his positions and to wanted to take certain precautions. Yet what is clear is that Derakhshan, given his recent positions and his role in providing information about the relationships and actions of some political groups and media active abroad, had been severely blacklisted by those who are known to oppose the Revolution and the system. The Persian language news media outside the country, contrary to their routine methods, did not create any commotion after his arrest, and refrained for a long time from even reporting the smallest news about him.
The signatories of this letter do not have any knowledge about the contents of the case against Hossein Derakhshan, however it appears that his long detention is not appropriate for the accusations that have been formally discussed in relation to him, especially given that with his recent positions and actions, Derakhshan was clearly taking steps to make up for his past. Without doubt, if he had not been detained during the brutal attacks of the Zionist regime in Gaza, he would have used his pen and weblog to further expose those crimes and to defend the innocent people of Gaza. We wonder, if Derkhashan has changed his ideas and actions in earnest, then what message does this way of dealing with him send to Derakhshan and others like him?
Despite our differences with Hossein Derakhshan’s beliefs, viewpoints, and tastes, we Muslim bloggers owe our familiarity with blogging to his direct or indirect instructional activities in the arena of weblog writing in Iran. In the spirit of knowing and learning, and given the special situation of this individual and his committed and respected family, we ask your honor to please order that his case be handled with Islamic mercy and his detention ended.
We thank you in advance for your consideration.

Best wishes for success,

A group of Muslim Bloggers

Mohammad Ale Habib, Aghazadeh
Shahab Esfandiari, Naghd-e Farhang
Amir-Reza Bagherpour Shirazi, Webneveshteha
Ahmad Reza Baligh, Engar
Safar Pourabbas, Salman
Mohammad Hassan Jalali, Namnamak
Omid Hosseini, Ahestan
Golara Hamzeh, Dadabase
Hatef Khalidi, Kharchangzadeh
Seyyed Kamaladdein Doaee, Shagh Al-Ghalam
Ahmad Zoalam, Telepathy
Saleh Zamani, Gozar Looti Saleh
Sajad Safar Harandi, Khosoosi Neest
Mohammad Ali Taebi, Mihan Parast
Hasti Ali, Goosh-e Ghermez
Hamid Reza Alagheband, Gerdbad
Seyyed Ali Alavi, Nasl-e Sevomi
Hamed Fatahi, Armanshahr
Seyed Ali Kashefi Khansari, Kashef Dot Net
Hossein Komeilian, Cinematograd
Masoud Levasani, Jaab-e Khaterat
Davood Moradian, Hees
Seyyed Morteza Hashemi Madani, Kalameh