The Spectacle Blog

19.5 Years In Prison For Pioneering Iranian Blogger

By on 9.28.10 | 8:14PM

Hossein Derakhshan -- known to those of us who have followed his career over the past decade by his old blog handle, Hoder -- was at the cutting edge of using technology to circumvent Iranian oppression; he not only started one of the first Persian-language blogs, he provided step-by-step instructions that made it technically simple for others to do so. Ironically, he became something of a regime apologist in recent years, and became estranged from many of his former allies. Perhaps he thought this made it safe to visit Iran (he was based mainly in Toronto). It did not. He was arrested in 2008 visiting his family in Iran, and today was sentenced to 19.5 years in jail.

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