[Marxism] Ahmadinejad stooge gets 19 year prison term for being "anti-Islamic"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 13 08:14:05 MDT 2011


Iranian blogger loses appeal against 19-year sentence

Hossein Derakhshan's conviction upheld for crimes including 
co-operating with hostile countries, following Israel trip

by Saeed Kamali Dehghan

Iran's appeals court has upheld the conviction of a renowned 
blogger who was sentenced to 19 years in prison, his family said.

Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian with joint Canadian citizenship, 
was arrested in November 2008 after returning to his home country. 
The 36-year-old, regarded as one of Iran's first bloggers and 
known among many as the "blogfather", was convicted last 
September. He was found guilty of co-operation with hostile 
countries, spreading propaganda against the regime and insulting 
Islamic thought and religious figures.

Derakhshan's family told the Iranian media that an appeals court 
has confirmed his sentence. His punishment also includes a 
five-year ban on belonging to any political or media organisations.

Derakhshan, who has contributed articles to the Guardian's Comment 
is Free website, drew the attention of Iranian authorities when he 
travelled to Israel in 2006 and posted a series of articles about 
his visit. Iran does not recognise Israel and bans all its 
citizens from travelling there.

After his visit to Israel he resumed blogging and was forthright 
in his support for hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a 
stance that infuriated many fellow bloggers as well as opposition 

Some bloggers believe Derakhshan was confident he would not be 
arrested because of his support for Ahmadinejad.

Following his arrest the blogger was detained for 500 days before 
being charged, his family say. His first trial was held in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Iranian human rights groups announced that Sakhi Reigi, 
an Iranian blogger from the country's Baluch ethnic minority, has 
been sentenced to 20 years in jail. Another blogger, Hossein 
Ronaghi-Maleki, has been in prison since December 2009 after being 
sentenced to 15 years. Navid Mohebbi, an 18-year-old blogger and 
high school student, was recently given a three-year suspended 

Persian is among the world's top languages used in blogs. 
Ahmadinejad launched a campaign against Iran's online community 
soon after he took the office for the first time in 2005. Many 
bloggers have since been arrested and some have been given lengthy 
prison terms.

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