Blogger sentenced to death
Looking for more information, I was startled to find that the case has gotten very little attention in mainstream English-language news media. I found reports in The Independent and The Times of India (citing the original ICHRI report), the Business Standard (citing The Independent), and Israel National News. Nothing at The Guardian, the BBC, or Al-Jazeera, though the death sentence was imposed almost a month ago. (There were a few reports on it at fringe-right propaganda sites whose track record of hysterics about anything to do with Islam leaves them with little credibility.) Not even posts on the major atheist blogs. Maybe they rely too much on the MSM to tell them what's going on.
The reforms President Rouhani has carried out in many areas of Iran's governance can easily blind us to the fact that in many other ways the country remains an extremely repressive theocracy with shocking restrictions on free expression. In particular, Rouhani has no say in the sentence passed by any given judge at a trial, just as Obama has no say over what sentence a judge passes at a criminal trial somewhere in the US.
However, even the theocracy has shown itself somewhat susceptible to embarrassment when its brutality is subject to the full glare of publicity. The best hope for preventing Arabi's execution is to get the case as much attention as possible.
MSM websites don't exactly make it easy to ferret out how to contact them with a story you think they ought to be following, but I did find a few possibilities. The BBC has a contact form here (scroll down). For The Guardian the most relevant thing I could find was the e-mail for the international news desk here. All I could find at Al-Jazeera was this. Rather than a lengthy e-mail, the best thing to do would be to send them the ICHRI link and a brief explanation of what's going on. If enough people write to them about the same story, maybe they'll have someone look into it. It might also be worth trying Amnesty International.
Remember, Soheil Arabi has been sentenced to death merely for saying something that somebody else didn't like. For any blogger, the fact that there are still places where this happens should be cause for alarm.
Update: Mousavi reports that another, similarly monstrous execution was in fact carried out today in Iran; Mohsen Amir Aslani was put to death today for heresy. Go ahead, click the link -- you won't believe what he was killed for. And this killing was reported by the BBC, at least by its Persian-language service -- a fact one could cite in asking them to cover the Soheil Arabi case.