Home Iran Gives “Blogfather” Longest Prison Term Ever for Blogger

Iran Gives “Blogfather” Longest Prison Term Ever for Blogger

Hossein Derakhshan, who had been rumored to be facing the death penalty, has instead been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison. Reporters Without Borders listed the “crimes” he has been found “guilty” of.

“Derakhshan was convicted of collaborating with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, propaganda in support of counter-revolutionary groups, ‘insulting what is holy’ and creating immoral websites. He can appeal against the verdict.”

When Derakhshan decided to return to Iran in 2008, a month before he was imprisoned there, he had been assured by Iranian President Ahmadinejad that he would not be imprisoned. Perhaps the same thought process that led to his abandonment of his passion for free speech and embrace of the Iranian regime led to his believing such a promise.

The sentence is the longest any blogger has ever received. The second longest also went to an Iranian blogger, Arash Sigarchi, in 2005. Sigarchi was sentenced to 14 years. The sentence was later reduced to three.

The blogger who has spent the longest time actually in jail is Kareem Amer of Egypt,who has spent three years and seven months in prison. (His release date is November 5.)

It may well be that this sentence will also be reduced, that making it public was another in a long line of “messages” the Iranian regime seems compelled to send.

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