Thursday, June 23, 2005


Iranian Blogger Returns From Exile for Vote

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An influential voice of dissent emerges from Toronto and cyberspace for the presidential race. It's a choice 'between bad and worse,' he says.

By Nahid Siamdoust, Special to The Times

TEHRAN � In a trip financed by his online fans, Hossein Derakhshan, the godfather of the Iranian blogosphere, returned to his native country last week to cover the presidential election after five years of self-imposed exile.

Derakhshan, 30, had left Iran after authorities shut down the newspaper for which he worked during what he described as the country's worst period of press restrictions. From Toronto, Derakhshan influenced Iran's media culture by creating his Web log titled 'Editor: Myself' and by helping other Iranians set up their own blogs. In a country where media censorship is pervasive, blogs have become a key instrument of dissent."

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