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Website Says Iran 'Blogfather' Sentenced To 19 Years In Prison

Hossein Derakhshan, seen in this undated courtesy photo, holds dual Iranian and Canadian citizenship.
AP has quoted a conservative Iranian website as saying that a prominent blogger has been convicted for antistate activities and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

The report, citing, does not specify when the court issued its verdict for Hossein Derakhshan, who has been in custody for two years.

Derakhshan was convicted of cooperation with hostile countries, spreading propaganda against the ruling establishment, promoting counterrevolutionary groups, and insulting Islamic thoughts and religious figures, AP reports.

Derakhshan, nicknamed Hoder, was a leading figure in the Persian-language blogosphere and was credited with helping blogs gain popularity in his native Iran -- so much so that he was dubbed Iran's "Blogfather."

He was arrested in 2008, shortly after returning to Iran following time living in Britain and Canada.

Derakhshan holds dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship.

Recent unconfirmed reports had suggested Derakhshan had been sentenced to death. Derakshan's mother said recently that prosecutors had asked for the "maximum penalty" for her son. is said to enjoy close ties to the office of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

compiled from agency and RFE/RL reports