A member of Hossein “Hoder” Derakhshan’s family has confirmed to me that he is awaiting a sentence in his trial in Tehran, and that the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.
After initially seeing a report on Kamtarin.com, which I passed along to this family member, that family member dismissed it as “rumor.” However, other messages from a second family member seemed to conclude that this sad news was correct. I forwarded that message to my contact, who said that after getting in touch with his family, confirmed that the sentencing was, in fact, true.
“I did [speak with my family] and it’s confirmed,” the contact writes. “They had told me they want to give him 15 years and we are waiting for the sentence. I had thought this was what the prosecuter has requested. But apparently this is not the case. So, yes, the prosecuter has asked for the death penalty but we’re still waiting for the sentence.”
“What I think would be very effective at this point would be to get as many people as possible to write to Larry King and ask him to ask Ahmadinejad about Hossein. It’s a perfect way to put him under pressure and make him react.”
To clarify, President Ahmadinejad will be appearing on CNN’s Larry King Live tonight (Wednesday).
Not surprisingly, Twitter is abuzz with the news.
As a reminder, Derakhshan was arrested November 1, 2008 in Tehran and according to Radio Zamaneh, was accused of “cooperation with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic regime, promoting anti-Revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, launching and managing vulgar and obscene sites.” (I’m not sure what the final, formal charges are, if that even matters at this stage.)
I’m contacting Canadian authorities in Ottawa and Tehran and will post whatever I can.
In the past, Canadian officials have publicly said very little, other than that essentially their hands are tied as Iran doesn’t recognize dual citizenship and that Derakhshan has been denied consular access.