Hossein Derakhshan at PostGlobal

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. Since 2001, he has been based out of Toronto, Canada, running his award-winning weblog, Editor: Myself, which has been among the most influential blogs in the Persian language. Close.

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. more »

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Ali Shakeri: Member of opposition group or just a peace activist?

So according to Nasser Karimi, the Associated Press's reporter in Tehran, Ali Shakeri, is only a peace activist. BBC's Francis Harrison adds that he is also an academic.

But what is deliberately ignored by these reporters is the fact that Ali Shakeri was a founding and active member of a well-known opposition group, called Ettehade Jomhourikhahan-e Iran (EJI) that advocates a democratic and secualar republic in Iran.

This is from their platform:

Today, the theocratic system of velayat-e faghih and its related institutions are the chief obstacle to democracy, stability, and progress in our country. Continuing repression, deplorable human rights violations, poverty, and rampant corruption is driving the country deeper into social and political crises. The intransigence of the ruling clerics and ‘vali fagih’, in the face of overwhelming and unquestionable demand for fundamental change, has resulted in a total loss of legitimacy of the political order and credibility of the regime. Internationally, the Islamic Republic has not only failed to protect and secure Iran’s national interests, but has instead placed the country in perilous situation and jeopardized its territorial integrity.

The formation of a broad based movement advocating Democracy and a true Republic based on the principles of non-violence, can serve the greater movement of Iranians to attain the legitimate demands of political freedoms, fair and free elections, and constitutional change. We advocate a democratic political system and a republican form of government based on the principles of accountability, transparency, and public participation.

Political struggle alone will not bring about the success of democratic forces. Democracy requires its own political and cultural values, the strengthening of civil society and its institutions, and the involvement of diverse social groups in the political process.

I am puzzled how these reporters are ignoring such a significant part of his biography.

Of course the image of a government that arrests a peace activist is different from one that arrests an active member of a foreign-based opposition group. Am I a cynic to suggest that this has been a deliberate attempt to further demonise the Iranian government, or there is no such thing as impartial reporting anymore when it comes to Iran?

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