Release Hossein

A letter to the supreme leader


Release Hossein
by Soroush Seifi

Mr. Ali Khamenei,

I am a first year law student in a Canadian Law School. I lived in Iran until the age of thirteen. My family and I immigrated to Canada in 1997 because of the lack of freedom of expression in Iran. As immigrants, we were not always treated well and we suffered discrimination and were pushed back to work within our own small Iranian community in Toronto. We loved Iran but actions by some Iranians have embarrassed our people at an international level. In this letter, I will explain to you how I have personally suffered as a result of these actions. If you and I, as Iranians do not treat each other well, how can we expect the international community to truly and genuinely respect our people?

One of the latest actions that bring disrepute to all Iranians all over the world is in regards to Blogger Hossein Derakhshan, 35, a dual Canadian-Iranian national. He has been unfairly tried and sentenced on 28 September 2010 to 19 and a half years’ imprisonment on vaguely worded charges relating to national security. He was detained without charge for about 19 months prior to trial and denied regular access to his family and lawyer. Amnesty International believes he is likely held solely for the peaceful expression of his views, and if so should be immediately and unconditionally released.

I have personally seen that in Europe, the situation is even worse for Iranians. In addition, videos of Iranian refugees in places like Greece and Australia speak to the failure of our 1979 revolution. In my opinion, you and your government are partly responsible for ensuring the well-being of all Iranians. Your actions, though it highlights some of the malfunctions in the Iranian culture, have nevertheless followed innocent Iranians everywhere we have sought refuge. Most Europeans and North Americans today look down on Iranians because we have created a bad image of ourselves. We have been intolerant to women, homosexuals, bloggers, religious minorities, racial minorities and almost every other group that is different than the majority.

I was born in Iran but see myself as belonging to the 6.8 billion people on Earth, and yet, the actions of the Iranian government constantly undermine my attempts personally to make a good living. Mr. Khamenei, this is how your actions at the macro level results in problems for an Iranian like me at a micro level. It is time to address the negative image that Iranians have created for us. Iran was the first country in the world and Iranians are a warm and passionate people who have many beautiful cultures. You as an Iranian and selected leader need to promote the positive aspects of our culture. It is easy to shout and be critical of individual bloggers and exploitative foreigners. Maybe it is time to pick the difficult path of self-reformation. Why divide people based on their differences such as religion, race, and way of thinking when we can bring them together through our similarities? We don’t need enemies in this world; we don’t need to shout “death” at others; what we need is to show that we can respect people who think different, act different, and live different than the majority. The strongest people are the most merciful and the kindest.

Releasing Hossein would be a first micro step that would help all Iranians show how we are a kind people. As the leader you are responsible for reforming a positive image for all Iranians especially in Europe and North America. The world watches how we treat one another as Iranians, and they treat us in the same way that we choose to treat each other. Please act in a way that Iranians will be treated better from now on inside and outside of the land where both you and I opened our eyes to this world.


Anonymous Observer

Khamenei is probably wiping his a** with the letter...

by Anonymous Observer on

that is before he does the obligatory "taharat", of course.  


A must-listen

by DelilahNY on

Cyrus Farivar has refeatured his nineteen minute audio portrait of Hossein, which he made one year ago, on his website It includes sections of interviews with Hossein, Omid Memarian and others, along with some thoughtful commentary about the unsettling trajectory of Hoder's political views.





Souresh Seifi

by Simorgh5555 on

I hope you don't mind but I have written an alternative letter on your behalf. I fear that you are being too nice to His Excellency, the Supreme Leader and your kind words and courteous manner are wasted on a washed out ex-junkie terrorist.  Hope you like it:

Mr. Ali Khamenei,

You are a terrorist. You are also a parasite and the reason why so many Iranians are dying, ending up in prison or fleeing their country. The only decent think you can do is to abolish the office of Supreme Leader, hold free and fair elections, release all political prisoners, separate religion from state, hold yourself and your  evil cronies accountable for your crimes. I know these choices  are very difficult, so why don't you get your shisha pipe and smoke some good quality opium to help you think through it.

If you still can't see any sense then you can at least borrow a hand gun and blow your own brains out. This will inspire hope to a lot of people and it will be a  nice gesture on your behalf.

If you release Hossein for Christmas,  I will reciprocate and send you a Play Station 3. Hope you can play with your left hand. Ha! Ha! 




Here's the real question

by farrad02 on

Do we want Iran to remain a country in which a man can be imprisoned for writing his opinions (no matter how misplaced) and for traveling to another place on God's Earth?! That is the question to be answered.


Okay, got it, but...

by DelilahNY on

Okay, got it. We both picked up on Maryam's mistake and we dealt with it differently. Anyway, so now you know. Some skip over comments, others tiptoe through, usually depending on the issue. So tiptoeing back on my "points":

The first is that when it comes to very serious issues, comments shouldn't be treated lightly ('nonsense comments' as you called them). And Hossein's case is as serious as it gets. Not just because of his sentencing--there are hundreds of such cases, some worse: this one facing stoning, that one on dry hunger strike, the other deprived of MS medications, yet another a 16 year old boy, the site is saturated with them. What is so serious about Hossein's case is the disturbing  complexities of his development and what this represents to and reflects about the readership (and the nation) as a whole.

So--and please bear with  my'diligence'--what do you really find 'outrageous' about Soroush, the law student's, request? Is it just that it's directed to Ivan the Terrible? It isn't that you harbor some idea of the 'poetic justice' of Hoder's sentencing, as so many do? And if not, then what does Hoder's file have to do with any of this, and why do you even assume Soroush doesn't know about his file? It's pretty common knowledge.

Also, Demo, what does Soroush's stating that Iran is the oldest country in the world have to do with anything? Take a look down that thread on the link I posted you of the news item about this and you will see who else subscribes to this idea. The finest minds hold onto all kinds of mini-myths. What does it have to do with the qualifications to write an open letter on human rights--however useful or foolhardy such an endeavor may be? And as for Soroush's skills in composition, well...

let me put it to you this way: would you be so hard on Soroush if he had written to Khamenei about the teenage blogger or the lawyer on hunger strike? Or in fact about pretty much anybody but Hoder?



by Demo on

With due respect I had presumed that you already understood what I actually had meant after reading "Nader Vanaki's" comment. Maryam had a major flaw in her English writing!! The request letter had been written by a young law student who in my humble opinion had to go back to high school to seriously work on his writings compositions before getting into university. The way Maryam had it commented then she had pointed to the young boy as the "criminal" who had made a nonesense request to "Ivan the Terrible" to free a convicted of the crime of expressing opinion about "IT." Are we clear now? Man, and I always thought everybody was skipping my own "nonsense" comments on IC!!! Delighted with your diligence anyway.


Demo (and others...)

by DelilahNY on

Regarding your reply to Doctor X, I don't think it has much of anything to do with what you were stating as your position in your first post. Allow me to go back up the thread which I now see is rife with poor wording and miscommunications.

I think when Maryam said the letter was a valid request 'from a criminal who has no affection for Iranian & its culture', she meant 'to' a criminal (Khamenei) who has no affection for Iranians and their culture. Originally I had thought she meant  a request 'for, on behalf of' a criminal (Hossein), who has no affection for Iran. Hence my reply to Maryam. I interpreted it the way I did because I have seen many people say things exactly like that before about Hossein. So Maryam, could you please clarify? Did I get it right this time?

And I thought that you, Demo, interpeted Maryam's statement the way I did, that Maryam had meant Hossein is an anti-Iranian criminal. And you took it one step further by saying the  law student  is also a criminal (metaphorically I guess) for suggesting Hossein should be freed, giving as evidence of her 'criminality her having no understanding of Iranian history--or Hoder's, either (on what grounds do you assume this?). Hence my reply to you, Demo. Did I misinterpret anything here?

I also see your response to Dr. X as a complete evasion from giving an explanation of your meaning and intent in your response to Maryam, by deflecting to considerations on the uselessness of letter-writing , Khamenei's insidiousness, the need for an uprising etc. I do not believe your original post was about any of that. Maybe I'm wrong. After all language was used so very carelessly to begin with.

This is a very serious situation, and Hoder's case touches raw nerves, opens gaping wounds, exposes individual  internal conflicts and collective rifts more than any other human rights case, due to its--his--complexities. People should speak about it clearly, carefully, and honestly, or not at all. And let us not forget that, as far as I know anyway, he is the only political prisoner who was a regular blogger here. Can you name another?

So Demo, if you don't mind, could you please just explain what you meant in your first post, and if you still feel the same way, or have you had any second thoughts about things. Much appreciated.


Dr. X

by Demo on

The debate over these kinds of writings posted on different blogs as "a letter to this & that" are really waste of time. The target letter is screwed up from the beginning to the end. Unless the whole country rises up to end with the dictatorship there & to send all the political prisoners home nothing will be solved. Apart from his dark actions history the so called "supreme leader" himself has been in "Moharebeh" with GOD for so long just by bearing the titles of "Moazam", "Supreme", and etc. As a namely "Muslim" he should have had known better that such titles are exclusively in the creator domain and no humans could ever use them to overcome others.

Dr. X


by Dr. X on

I am not very clear on your position. But I believe the law student author is referring to Ali Khamenei as the criminal. As far as the request of the does it seem outrageous? The case of Hossein Derakhshan aside, is it acceptable that people who criticize Khamenei are arrested and charged with "Mohareb" ? Hossein is not the only one, many other students, journalists, academics, and intellectuals are being held in prison on such charges. I guess the only outrageous thing about the writer's request is to believe that an incompetent fascist like Khamenei would even read such a request much less take it seriously.

Nader Vanaki

خیلی تمرین خوبی در انشاء بود و

Nader Vanaki

یه نمره بیست از من توی دفترم داری ولی نه مخاطبش و نه سوژه اش لیاقت نامه نگاری دارن. ببخشیدا.



by DelilahNY on


Who is the "criminal"  here? The "writer" or "Hosein"? How in the world a "first year law student" who believes Iran was the first country in the world could make such an outrageous request

Maybe she got her information here. Looks like it's you and Q against MM and the law freshie. Perhaps you two could at least get MM for a misdemeanor lol. But seriously...


He is an anti-IRANIAN criminal who must be tried for inhumane crimes has done against IRANIANS especially Young IRANians.

Arguable. But may I ask you this, Maryam: Do you think that those two other imprisoned bloggers--the one who developed the code so that blogging could be done in Persian (especially for Young IRANians) and the one who went on the good will trip to Israel--should be tried too? Because I understand that, at this very moment, all three of them are engaged in a lively debate on just this same topic. In solitary.


The Real Iran: How Blogging Can Change the Way the World Sees Iran

Loving Tehran in Tel Aviv

Hoder's tragic irony




Very Valid Request???

by Demo on

Who is the "criminal" here? The "writer" or "Hosein"? How in the world a "first year law student" who believes Iran was the first country in the world could make such an outrageous request without knowing the details of the convicted file? The world is going awry, aint so?

Maryam Hojjat

Very Valid request but

by Maryam Hojjat on

From a criminal who has no affection for Iranian & its culture. He is an anti-IRANIAN criminal who must be tried for inhumane crimes has done against IRANIANS especially Young IRANians.