A prominent Turkish-Armenian blogger has been sent to jail on charges of illegal construction amid a graft scandal engulfing the government, local media reported Friday. Sevan Nisanyan was sentenced in December to two years in prison in a case he claims was punishment for his outspoken views about restrictions on freedom of expression, according to The Daily Star.
“Unfortunately, this country is ruled by dwarves who have no vision. We all deserve a better country,” the 57-year-old was quoted as saying by CNN Turk as he headed to prison in the city of Izmir Thursday. “I do not regret what I have done. I am proud of what I have done.”
Nisanyan also faces up to 16 years in prison on other charges related to construction work on hotels in a village near Izmir.
Nisanyan was previously convicted of blasphemy over a 2012 blog defending an anti-Islam film that ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad and sparked angry protests across the world.
His words touched a nerve in the staunchly secular but majority Muslim nation and he received hundreds of death threats.