Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Free Hoder?

Following my posts here and at the Huffington Post regarding the “arrest” of blogger Hossein Derakhshan (aka Hoder), I realize that perhaps my pronouncements were premature.

Many of you are following this story with skeptical eyes, and I want you to know: so am I. For those of you who aren’t so aware of what’s going on, here’s the breakdown:

A Persian news site, Jahan News, reported Hoder’s arrest last week. Following that announcement, Global Voices Advocacy picked up on the story (clearly putting “arrested” in quotes), prompting activists to contact major media outlets. While the activists had Hoder’s best interests at heart, the media quickly sensationalized the story, and before anyone could blink, the Times Online was reporting that “Iranian ‘Blogfather’ Hossein Derakhshan is arrested on charge of spying for Israel” with other outlets such as Haaretz and Canada’s National Post (which unfortunately quoted me as a news source and not a blog) simply piggybacking on the story.

Yet other sources have kept the story in quotes: Toronto’s Globe and Mail (which I spoke to regarding the skepticism), The New York Times, and prominent bloggers such as Ethan Zuckerman.

Right now, the truth is that we don’t know the truth. With no one to confirm or deny Hoder’s arrest, the best we can do is continue to advocate for him until more details are known.

p.s. Will my faithful readers please write to PostGlobal and ask them to update the facts as well? So far, I have done so without response.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks Sami. I’m just being cautious, after arriving home to tons of nasty emails. I’m certainly not turning against him, and will continue to advocate for his release until I know otherwise.

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