Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Jesse Brown: Ahmadinejad seeks 'justice' for Canadian blogger while Ottawa does nothing

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist:

Hossein Derakshan is a Canadian citizen who has been rotting in a Tehran jail since November. To the best of our knowledge, he has yet to be charged with anything (though it’s safe to assume that his detainment has something to do with the fact that he’s a highly opinionated and influential blogger). His case has gotten far too little attention from our government and from our media. But last week, someone finally took notice: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Responding to the high-profile case of imprisoned U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi, Ahmadinejad, who is running for re-election, sent an open-letter to an Iranian prosecutor asking for “justice” and due process in her case. Buried in reports of this letter is the startling fact that Ahmadinejad also called for “justice” in the case of Hossein Derakshan.

Hossein Derakshan is no Roxana Saberi: she is a respected professional journalist, he is an incendiary blogger. She has Barack Obama to rattle cages on her behalf. He has alienated his friends with his pro-nuclear, pro-Islamic regime views, and explicitly asked friends not to help him if he ever came to trouble.

None of these differences matter. Derakshan is a Canadian citizen imprisoned but uncharged in Iran without access to due process. Our government must do all it can to make sure he doesn’t suffer the same fate as Zahra Kazemi.

Freelance reporter Cyrus Farivar has for months been trying to get information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Affairs in Ottawa on what they’re doing on Derakshan’s behalf. They have thus far refused to reveal whether they’ve established any contact with him at all, saying only that Iran doesn’t recognize Derakshan’s Canadian citizenship.

Farivar then asked what action would be taken if Iran continues to stonewall Ottawa. He has yet to receive an answer.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Mandy

Edmonton

It is quite clear, and has been for some time, that our government doesn't like brown people and human rights and democracy depend on your gender and your colour. Harper talks the talk about human rights and democratic processes, slams China every chance it gets, yet leaves Omar Khadr rotting in Guantanamo, waits until there is a public outcry over the right to rape wives law in Afghanistan and keeps mum (or ignores)Derakshan's plight in Iran. How many more Derakshans are out there that we haven't yet heard about and our government is taking no action on? There's big talk from our government on many things and yet, when it comes to walking it, our government sits down.

Posted April 24, 2009 02:19 PM

CatherineF

Ottawa

Would someone PLEASE explain to me why Derakshan bothered to come to Canada and become a citizen, when he turns around and returns to Iran?? Just asking!!

He has no loyalty to Canada, he does not believe or share in our values, why on earth do we even care if he is in jail or not?

Derakshan is a supporter of pro nuclear, pro Islamic Regime views, he has very strong opinions and is a very well known blogger in Iran.

Why he is in jail is not even known, besides he said does not want anyone's help.

Canadian passports and supporting information you are given warns, when you are traveling or living outside Canada, Canadian laws do not apply. You are subject to laws of the country you are in.

The CBC story has no information on why this man is in jail, still this story is written as another case where Canada should be involved.

These cases are getting very annoying, and expensive, you travel to foreign countries or choose to live there, your problems are your problems.

Posted April 24, 2009 04:11 PM

Chris McNeil

Ottawa

The facts are that a Canadian citizen is in an Iranian jail for reasons that have not been revealed, and who has not been charged with any crime.

His political views are not important. He is a Canadian citizen. He is equal under the law to any other Canadian citizen, and for us to ignore this sets a precedent that we will come to regret.

The government should, at the very least, apply pressure to Iran to reveal precisely why he is incarcerated and what law he has allegedly broken.

I cannot understand the mindset of a person who would abandon a Canadian citizen to being locked up without trial by a theocratic regime with little regard for human rights, simply because that person has views you do not like.

Posted April 25, 2009 09:12 AM

RightsGuy

BC

We care because he IS a citizen and that carries rights. If we ignore those then we sink rapidly out of democracy into the abyss of the middle ages. Rights and the equal and open treatment under the law are the fundamental bedrock of our society.

Posted April 25, 2009 02:06 PM

Dan Yaroshuk

Any Candian embassy abroad does nothing. They just go out for coffee, get pay for their good time. I went to China 2002 for my wife's visa, I could not get Canadian talked with me in English. I'd been waiting for there for 2 hours and got somebody talk to me, I asked them if I have emergency need their help, what they would do, they said " you are a adult, you behave yourself, we won't responsible for you for anything." I was born in Canada, that time I need them help, but I was like orphen there. You want to government help you, forget about that! We pay tax to them, we feed them, that's how they treat us!

Posted April 25, 2009 11:07 PM

Canadian eh??

Alberta

The term Canadian means different things to different people. I have NO time or SYMPATHY for people who USE Canada as a Flag of Convenience. Sorry I concur with a previous poster.. WTF was he thinking?

Why did he receive citizenship? So he can hide under the Canadina banner? Same thing with the Lebanese evacuation... Don't ask for MY taxes to wipe your asses..

We need to abolish CItizenship of convenience...

You Pays your Money You takes Your Chances Stop whining to the Government if you lose...


Posted April 26, 2009 01:33 PM

Robert W.

Dear Mandy,

Your slanderous remark is beyond despicable. Just because you wake up every morning seething hatred for Stephen Harper doesn't give you the right to make up your own facts.

Beyond pathetic!

Posted April 27, 2009 01:32 AM

Doug Roberts

Hossein Derakshan, for whatever reason, is a Canadian citizen. If our government ignores him and avoids actively assisting him, we can expect they will do the same for all of us. Either you are a citizen or you aren't. There is no middle ground.

Posted April 29, 2009 12:03 AM

James

Vancouver

"It is quite clear, and has been for some time, that our government doesn't like brown people and human rights and democracy depend on your gender and your colour."

Don't forget that our government has no problem when countries lock up white people for saying the wrong thing. When has our government ever criticized European nations for throwing people in jail for saying that they don't necessarily believe the mainstream account of the Nazi atrocities?

The evidence is that our government cares little for free speech, whether by black or brown or white people, unless it suits their purposes.

Posted April 29, 2009 10:37 AM

Don simpson

Edmonton

Years of liberal government, do nothing, say nothing foreign policy have left us with an international image, euqivalent to that of a pushhover. Resultingly our citizens rights are never respected abroad. The conservatives are now left to pick up the pieces of this broken legacy, I wish them the best in all their efforts to repatriate Canadians imprissoned abroad whom are worthy of that obligation we owe them.

Posted April 29, 2009 01:05 PM

Dave in Surrey

Surrey

I'd assume if this guy won a gold at the Olympics our right wing neo-conservative crowd wouldn't care how he became a Canadian and refer to him as a Canadian...

You are considered a Canadian only if you think and act like a Conservative and obey the holy Harper...

Posted April 29, 2009 06:18 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

'Sometimes they're poignant moments': inauguration day transfers between presidents video
Before he takes the oath of office Friday, Donald Trump will sit down with President Barack Obama for a traditional tea-or-coffee meeting and share a carpool ride to the Capitol — quaint rituals for two men with such a long, public rivalry.
Updated Avalanche destroys Italian hotel, 3 bodies found and over 2 dozen missing
A huge avalanche plowed into a luxury mountain hotel in central Italy after a series of strong earthquakes rattled the area, and up to 30 people might be buried under the snow, officials say.
Iran says 30 Tehran firefighters killed as burning highrise collapses
A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring roughly 75 people, state media reported.
more »

Canada »

Analysis Could the oilsands really be phased out? Here are the possibilities video
The prime minister's comments on phasing out the oilsands caused a political tempest in Alberta, but not much of a ripple in the business community. Because phasing out the oilsands would be really hard, very expensive and bad for the economy.
Analysis Inauguration to usher in a 'ringmaster president' and much uncertainty: Chris Hall
Donald Trump, the candidate who campaigned as the political outsider, the candidate beholden to no one, is now one step away from the White House. The head of a family empire turned leader of the free world is at this point because he campaigned in absolutes.
Canada Revenue Agency monitoring Facebook, Twitter posts of some Canadians
The Canada Revenue Agency is scrutinizing the Facebook pages and other social media posts of people it believes are at "high risk" of cheating on their taxes. It's also rapidly expanding its use of cutting-edge big data techniques for everything from improving customer service to deciding who to audit.
more »

Politics »

Canada Revenue Agency monitoring Facebook, Twitter posts of some Canadians
The Canada Revenue Agency is scrutinizing the Facebook pages and other social media posts of people it believes are at "high risk" of cheating on their taxes. It's also rapidly expanding its use of cutting-edge big data techniques for everything from improving customer service to deciding who to audit.
Analysis Inauguration to usher in a 'ringmaster president' and much uncertainty: Chris Hall
Donald Trump, the candidate who campaigned as the political outsider, the candidate beholden to no one, is now one step away from the White House. The head of a family empire turned leader of the free world is at this point because he campaigned in absolutes.
'Uncertainty is never a good thing': MPs, senators reach out to U.S. lawmakers
Canadian MPs and senators plan to stress the importance of trade when they meet with their U.S. counterparts in the weeks following Donald Trump's inauguration as president.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Dimming star power: Do celebrities' anti-Trump voices matter? video
As stars pour out in protests around the inauguration, research suggests celebrities rarely have the power to substantially change people's political opinions
Man admits to swindling Alanis Morissette of nearly $5M US
The former business manager for Alanis Morissette admitted embezzling more than $7 million from the singer and other celebrities and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Updated Animal rights group complaint alleges 'blatant animal cruelty' on A Dog's Purpose film set
A national animal welfare group filed a complaint with Manitoba authorities after a video surfaced online showing a dog being forced into churning water during the production of the soon-to-be released film A Dog's Purpose.
more »

Technology & Science »

Sleeping man wakened by heat and flames from Samsung S5 phone
A Toronto man says he woke up to "massive flames shooting out the sides" of his Samsung S5 phone on Tuesday morning.
World's primates facing extinction crisis, new report says
Gorillas, monkeys, lemurs and other primates are in danger of becoming extinct, and scientists say it's our fault our closest living relatives are in trouble, a new international study warns.
Ground patrol to investigate mysterious Arctic 'ping' sound
The mysterious "ping" sound reported last fall is being investigated again by the military, which in November sent a surveillance plane to the area.
more »

Money »

New World oil demand rising in wake of production cuts: IEA
World oil markets are slowly tightening as demand rises while investors wait to see if production cuts agreed by OPEC and other producers will be implemented as promised, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.
Galen G. Weston succeeds father as George Weston CEO
Galen G. Weston has been appointed to succeed his father as CEO of George Weston Ltd.
Netflix streaming numbers grow as DVD-by-mail service wanes
​Originally cast in a starring role, Netflix's original DVD-by-mail service has been reduced to a bit player — one that may eventually get killed off as the company focuses on its booming video streaming service.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
6-time Australian Open champ Novak Djokovic shocked in 2nd round video
Novak Djokovic, the champion five of the last six years, is out of the Australian Open after being beaten 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 by wild-card entry Denis Istomin in a second-round match on Thursday.
Former Expo Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
Former Montreal Expos star Tim Raines has been voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2017. It was Raines' 10th and last year of eligibility for the shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y.
In Depth Motherhood forced Silken Laumann to deal with her mental illness — and her family's
Becoming a mom not only showed Canadian rowing great Silken Laumann that she needed to cope with her mental illness, but her family’s as well. In her first-person story to CBC Sports, Laumann takes readers through the big, messy, wacky and joyful journey that is her family unit.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »