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September 28, 2010

Hoder sentenced to 19.5 years

POLITICS - 35-year-old Iranian-Canadian Hossein Derakhshan, the founder of one of the first Farsi-language blogs and credited with the boom in Iranian bloggers, has been sentenced to 19 years in an Iranian prison for being critical of Iran's Ayatollah... and also for trying to promote peace between Iran and Israel.

Hossein Derakhshan, aka Hoder, wrote his blog from Canada but was arrested during a visit to Iran in 2008. In a controversial move Derakhshan also was a supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising Iran's nuclear weapons program as a deterrent against war.

The Iranian prosecutors asked to give Derakhshan the death penalty. See Toronto Blogger facing Death Penalty.

But that plea was apparently ignored and Derakhshan has instead been given the sentence of 19.5 years for writing propaganda against the state of Iran, for "cooperating with Israel" and insulting Islamic religious figures.

Derakhshan ignited blogging in Iran by posting simple instructions online on how to create sites in Farsi in 2001. Since then Farsi has overtaken the blogosphere to become the 2nd most used language behind English.

Its widely speculated in political circles that Israel and Iran will go to war sometime in the next 10 years.

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