Associated Free Press (hosted by Google) | September 27, 2010

OTTAWA — A 19-year prison sentenced handed to a Canadian-Iranian credited with starting the blogging movement in Iran is “unacceptable and unjustifiable,” the Canadian government said Tuesday.

Hossein Derakhshan, 35, was convicted in Iran of collaborating with “enemy states and of propaganda against the Islamic system,” the conservative Mashreghnews website reported, quoting a judicial source.

The court also found him guilty of “promoting counterrevolutionary cells and insulting Islamic sanctities.”

“We are deeply concerned about the news of this severe sentence,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said. “If true, this is completely unacceptable and unjustifiable.”

“No one should be punished anywhere for simply exercising one’s inherent right to freedom of expression,” he said, adding that “Iran must release him.”

Read the full AFP article here. >>