Toronto-based Iranian blogger, Hossein Derakshan, aka Hoder has announced that he's returning to Iran next week, despite the possible risks. He writes:
Despite the risks, I think this is the safest time for me to visit, because the regime is likely to behave more tolerantly right before the elections on June 17th. It's a small window of opportunity which may not open again for a long time. Especially because it's not clear who the next president will be and how the regime will deal with the internal and international pressure.
I miss my country and I am frustrated that I must have fears of going back simply because of the words I have written in my weblogs. (Read Sina Motallebi‘s account of his three weeks detention because of his blog postings.)
Hossein will be blogging, podcasting, and taking photos while on his trip. A big focus will be the Presidential elections on June 17th. He is asking his readers to support him by linking to his blog posts from Iran and by donating funds through paypal to help finance the trip.
Hossein played a key role in enabling the emergence of a Persian-language blogosphere, and is a key “bridge blogger.” He is one of the bloggers who inspired us to create Global Voices. Read this “Wired” magazine article about him, and this article quoting him and other bloggers who attended the Global Voices conference last December. You can also listen to interviews with Hossein and other bloggers on Chris Lydon's Radio Open Source here: here and in this 20-minute podcast about the conference we created in December here.