According to an entry made by Hossein Derakhshan’s sister on “Justice for Hossein Derakhshan: The Official Blog of Hossein Derakhshan’s Family and Friends For Dissemination of Information and Pursuit of His Situation,” he has returned to prison at the end of his two-day prison leave. A source close to Derakhshan confirmed the news for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“It was unexpected, but finally, after months of efforts and patience, they accepted for Hossein to spend two days outside of the prison and next to us….He returned to prison early this morning. It was short. But sweet,” the entry says. The said source told the Campaign that the authorities who released Derakhshan for a short leave on an unprecedented bail of $1.5 million “tested Hossein to see what he would do if he was released.” The blog entry refers to the family’s having gone to the cemetery to visit deceased family members’ grave sites, and to have spent the entire two days together.
Derakhshan was detained on 1 November 2008, several months before the disputed June 2009 presidential election. However, an avid critic of reformists, quotes and narrative from Derakhshan’s articles and blogs prior to his arrest were used extensively during the group show trials of reformists last year, some quoted verbatim in the imprisoned activists and politicians’ indictments.
Hossein Derakhshan was charged with ‘cooperation with hostile states, propagating against the regime, propagation in favor of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, and implementation and management of obscene websites,’ and sentenced to 19.5 years in prison, five years’ ban from membership in political parties and activities in the media; and returning received funds in the amount of 30,750 Euro, US$2,900, and 200 British Pounds. His lawyer has appealed the decision, but the appeals court has not yet made its ruling.
Previously, a source close to his family told the Campaign that after his 2008 arrest, Derakhshan spent nearly ten months in solitary confinement, completely isolated from the outside world, and was subjected to beatings to coerce him to make false confessions about having ties to the CIA and Israeli intelligence services. His family was only able to visit him twice during the first year of his detention. Derakhshan’s family was not allowed to attend his trial sessions, though the above-mentioned blog entry reflects that his family “have been able to visit with him once a week for the past 1.5 years.”