A reliable source has told Global Voices that Tehran’s prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (also known as “Hoder”). The presiding judge, named Salavati, has not yet ruled in the case. Derakhshan has been accused of “collaborating with enemy states, creating propaganda against the Islamic regime, insulting religious sanctity, and creating propaganda for anti-revolutionary groups.” He was arrested 22 months ago, and his trial began in June 2010.
The reasons for Hoder’s initial arrest upon his return to Iran from Canada in 2008 remain unclear, but many speculated that his two (highly publicised) trips to Israel were the primary reason.
Derakhshan holds a Canadian passport, but Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and visiting Israel is frowned upon by the government.
On other news, some political prisoners have gone on hunger strike to protest deteriorating conditions on Evin prison. Three of them, journalists Bahman Ahmadi-Amounei and Keyvon Samimi and student activist Majid Tavakoli began a “dry” hunger strike on August 4. Relatives and bloggers are shocked by the indifference of the rest of the world about their situation.