Almost two years after his arrest the Canadian Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (35) was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts today. News of the stiff sentence was first published by Mashreq website. A source close to the family of Hossein Derakhshan confirmed the news for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, adding that Derakhshan’s family are shocked by the news. ”Neither the family nor the lawyer knew about the sentence, they read the news online.”
“According to the sentence Derakhshan has been charged with ‘cooperation with hostile states, propagating against the regime, propagation in favor of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, and implementation and management of obscene websites,’ and sentenced to 19.5 years in prison, five years’ ban from membership in political parties and activities in the media; and returning received funds in the amount of 30,750 Euro, US$2,900, and 200 British Pounds,” reported the Mashreq website. According to the source referenced in the Mashreq article, Derakhshan or his lawyer Mahdavi can appeal the ruling.
Derkhshan, who was nicknamed the 'Father of Blogging'. lived in Canada and posted from there instructions for Iranians on how to blog in Farsi and how to make websites. He was arrested when he visited this family in Iran in October 2008.