Iranian 'blogfather' loses appeal against 19-year jail term
A renowned blogger with Iranian and Canadian citizenship has lost an appeal against a 19-year jail term imposed after he visited Israel, a French magazine said Wednesday, citing his family.
Hossein Derakhshan, a 35-year-old known as the father of the Iranian blogging movement, has been imprisoned in Iran since 2008 and was convicted last year of "aiding enemy states and propaganda against the Islamic system."
He was best known for travelling to Israel in 2006, using his Canadian passport to get round Iran's ban on such visits, hoping to help change the views that Israelis and Iranians have of each other's countries.
"I've just had his family on the phone from Tehran," his partner Sandrine Murcia told philosopher activist Bernard-Henri Levy's revue La Regle du Jeu.
"They're shattered. It's the Biggest ever sentence imposed on an Iranian journalist. There's no reason for Hossein to be in prison. This sentence is simply unacceptable," the French woman said.
Murcia said she thought the lengthy sentence was intended as a message from Iran's Islamic regime to the young cyber-activists battling to keep the spirit of the "green revolution" against the regime alive online.
© 2011 AFP