(cross posted at kickin it with cg)
Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger known as Hoder was arrested in Tehran on charges of spying for Israel and could face the death penalty, according to a number of media reports.
Derakhshan, lived in Toronto for seven years and moved to the U.K. in 2007. Widely considered the most prominent Iranian blogger, Derakhshan has been writing on his blog since 2001 and it has been censored numerous times by Iranian authorities. His pioneering work has earned him the nickname of “Godfather of the Iranian Blogosphere.” Hoder is also considered a controversial figure for his support of the Iranian regime.
In 2006, he visited Israel and at the time was quoted as saying that this could make returning to his birth country difficult.
“This might mean that I won’t be able to go back to Iran for a long time, since Iran doesn’t recognize Israel, has no diplomatic relations with it, and apparently considers traveling there illegal. Too bad, but I don’t care. Fortunately, I’m a citizen of Canada and I have the right to visit any country I want.”
The reason for his visit to Iran is unknown.
It has been speculated that Derakhshan was likely arrested sometime in the last two weeks. A number of journalism activist groups have begun campaigns calling for his release.
Hoder’s had his writing published in the Washington Post, the Guardian and other publications.