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Iran's 'Blogfather' Loses Appeal Against Prison Sentence

Hossein Derakhshan
Hossein Derakhshan
An Iranian appeals court has upheld a 19 1/2-year jail term for Iranian Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, his family has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Derakhshan has also been banned from being a member of a journalistic or political organization for five years.

Derakhshan, known as Iran's "Blogfather" for helping popularize blogging in Iran, was convicted over his 2006 visit to Israel and his writings.

Charges against him include working with hostile governments, propaganda against the state, and insulting religious sanctities.

Iran does not recognize Israel and Iranian citizens are banned from traveling to Israel.

Derakhshan was arrested in November 2008 after returning to Iran.

The sentence against Derakhshan, who blogged under the name of "Hoder," is one of the longest prison terms given to a blogger in the Islamic republic.

The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders reported on June 7 that another blogger, Sakhi Righi , has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of publishing false information and "acts against national security."

Reporters Without Borders has put Iran on its list of countries that are enemies of the Internet.