Iranian blogger given 20 year prison term

Hossein Derakhshan, known as the "blogfather," handed nearly 20-year sentence for "propaganda" and "collaboration".

Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian journalists best known for his blogging, has been sentenced to 19-and-a-half years in prison, according to Iranian media.

Derakhshan, 35, was convicted on Tuesday of collaborating with hostile governments, committing blasphemy and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, and managing an obscene website, according to Mashregh News.

He has also been banned from participating in political parties or the media for five years and ordered to pay a large fine.

The report mentioned Derakhshan's ability to appeal the ruling, and the Iranian Fars News Agency reportedly also said that Derakhshan can appeal. Derakhshan's personal blog,, was not accessible on Wednesday morning.

The Canadian government called Derakhshan's sentencing "unacceptable and unjustifiable".

"No one should be punished anywhere for sumply exercising one's inherent right to freedom of expression," Lawrence Cannon, the foreign affairs minister, said. "Iran must release him".
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