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Iranian 'Blogfather' Sentenced to 19 1/2 Years in Prison

Another day to be happy you live here in the U.S.

According to a report on the Jurist Paper Chase blog, Hossein Derakhshan, the man credited with popularizing blogging in Iran, was sentenced yesterday to a prison term of 19 1/2 years for his blogging and activism. Officially, he was convicted of "cooperating with hostile countries, spreading propaganda against the ruling establishment, promoting counterrevolutionary groups and maintaining obscene websites."

While there were earlier reports that Derakhshan had been facing the death penalty, Western reaction to his sentencing has been predictable in its outrage. Brian Whitaker in the Guardian observes that Derakhshan's sentence for "activities that would not be a crime at all in many countries" is harsher than many sentences for murder. Reporters Sans Frontieres notes that it is the longest sentence ever imposed on an individual for blogging activities in Iran, and urges Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intervene and arrange Derakhshan's release. 

If you'd like to sign a petition supporting Derakhshan's release, go to http://www.freetheblogfather.org/

Posted by Eric Lipman on September 29, 2010 at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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