A death sentence for blogging?

I’ve been reading Roxana Saberi‘s book this week since she’s in town for the Broadcast Journalist series. After the first 20 or so pages detailing her arrest and jailing on spying charges, and details of her interrogation, it’s clear living in Iran is like falling into the rabbit hole (Hear her account here).

Saberi was lucky. She got out, partly by confessing (falsely, she says) that she was a spy and agreeing to spy on others. Even so, she was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger who was arrested after he returned to Iran nearly two years ago, hasn’t been so “lucky”. The New York Times says he could be sentenced to death.

Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American journalist, reported on Monday that a member of the detained blogger’s family “has confirmed to me that he is awaiting a sentence in his trial in Tehran, and that the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.”

He fled Iran in 2000 after his newspaper was shut down. But he returned in 2008 and was arrested a few weeks later.

In 2006, MPR’s Jon Gordon talked to him about the power of blogs for Iranians, a power the authorities seem to have successfully crushed.

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