"Iranian blogfather" sentenced to over 19 yrs imprisonment, claims human rights activist

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Tehran, Sept 29 (ANI): An Iranian court has sentenced "Iranian blogfather," Hossein Derakhshan, to more than 19 years of imprisonment for "co-operating with hostile countries and insulting religious figures," according to a human-rights activist.

"We were surprised that Derakhshan has been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison for co-operating with hostile countries, spreading propaganda against the ruling establishment and insulting religious figures," The Telegraph quoted the activist, as saying.

However, "an informed judiciary source" reportedly said that the sentence issued against Derakhshan was not final and he could still make an appeal.

Thirty-five-year-old Derakhshan, who is credited with launching a blogging revolution in Iran, has been held in prison in the Islamic state since 2008 on suspicions of spying for Israel.

Derakhshan was a journalist in Tehran but moved to Toronto in 2000. He made his name by publishing instructions on how to use blogging software to publish blogs in Farsi, sparking an explosion of blogging in the Iranian language, the paper said.

Derakhshan, who was critical of the Tehran government in the past, visited Israel in 2006. After his return to the country in 2008, he was arrested.

Earlier, a prominent journalist, Issa Saharkhiz, was reportedly sentenced to three years in jail for "insulting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and spreading propaganda against the Islamic system". (ANI)

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