Iran To Pro-Iranian Blogger: How Does 19 Years In Jail Sound?

Known mostly for sentencing critics of the government to jail, Iran for the most part has displayed a very hostile attitude towards bloggers (not to mention the twittersphere as well).

But what about bloggers who not only condone the Iranian government, but praise it as well? Unfortunately it seems that lip service alone will not save you.

An Iranian court sentenced the founder of one of the first Farsi-language blogs, credited with sparking the boom in Iranian reform bloggers, to more than 19 years in prison for his writings, a news web site reported Tuesday.

Iranian-Canadian Hossein Derakhshan, 35, was a controversial figure among Iran’s blogging community. Writing his blog from Canada, he was initially a critic of Iran’s clerical leadership, and in 2006 he visited Israel — Iran’s archenemy — saying he wanted to act as a bridge between the two countries’ peoples.

But he later became a vocal supporter of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising him for standing up to the West and criticizing regime opponents. (Fox News)

Yael (from Israel) was able to meet Derakhshan in person and from her encounters was “convinced that he was an Iranian agent.” Other bloggers (even ones from Iran) seemed to have a similar attitude, which is why many are surprised by Derakshan’s sentence.

While it may seem strange for Iran to jail a proponent of their regime, it should not come as a surprise as the government has been known to jail apolitical bloggers without cause (aside from the fact that they own a blog).

Derakhshan imprisonment probably goes to show that the Iranian government sees bloggers as a threat (and not as an asset), which probably means that Iranian bloggers need to exercise more caution when blogging in hostile countries.

(Image Credit: Farzaaaad2000)

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