Two years ago, the Iranian-Canadian Hossein Derakhshan was sentenced to nineteen years in jail for blogging. Who knew that blogging could be so dangerous? When my employer, Burg Translations, asked me to begin a blog, of course I researched the risks involved in the task. Thus far, I came across one extremely scary case: Derakshshan of Iran. Other than that, it looked like a relatively safe activity. Given the fact that I am not blogging in Iran and will not be publishing politically controversial material, I think I can risk this.

Known as the “blogfather” of Iran, Derakhshan published a guide to blogging in Farsi, which incited the creation of roughly 75,000 Persian blogs. In his blog he boasted of making a trip to Israel, which may be the reason why he was charged with “collaborating with enemy states, creating propaganda against the Islamic regime, [and] insulting religious sanctity.”

In a nation like Iran that affords limited to no freedom of speech, Derakhshan needed to blog carefully. Derakhshan may have been guilty of being a harsh critic of his nation’s government; but serving a nineteen year jail sentence for blogging certainly makes one consider the content they enter into their blog, and question the fairness of Iran’s judicial system. To date, Derekhshan incurred the longest sentence ever given to a blogger.

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