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Hossein, writing from home

Hossein Derakshan is home for a quick visit. This is trickier for Hoder than it is for most bloggers – he’s been living in Toronto since 2000 and hasn’t been back in Iran in the interim. Given the highly political nature of Hoder’s blogging and the fact that Iranian bloggers Mojtaba and Arash have been imprisoned for things they’ve written on their blogs, this looks like a pretty ballsy move on Hoder’s part. Hoder’s theory is that the Iranian government will be on their best behavior immediately before the June 17th elections. That said, he’s taking precautions, blogging about his time in Iran in English, though not in Persian.

The technical challenges are non-trivial, as Flickr and Hoder’s on site are both blocked within Iran. But he’s posting excellent photos, and providing running commentary on the prospects for the various candidates. His most recent post speculates that the recent bombing might have been planned to benefit the more conservative candidates like Rafsanjani, but seems not to have freaked out voters, which may benefit more progressive candidates like Moin.

My fingers are crossed for Hoder’s safety, and I’m really enjoying his coverage in the meantime.

And while we’re on the subject of free speech, Rebecca’s post yesterday about free speech in China is a must read.