Saturday 12 July 2008

Death Penalty for blogging in Iran

KiwiBlog reports that Iran is bringing in the death penalty for certain types of blogging.

It will be a crime to establish a blog which "disturbs mental security in society" that promote corruption, prostitution or apostasy. I wouldn't want to be an atheist in Iran.

The legislation could make blogging a crime punishable by death. Listen to the report on PRI radio.

The proposed Act also lists other crimes such as rape, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Global Voices, Hamid Tehrani writes:
On Wednesday, Iranian members of parliament voted to discuss a draft bill that seeks to “toughen punishment for disturbing mental security in society.” The text of the bill would add, “establishing websites and weblogs promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy,” to the list of crimes punishable by death.

In recent years, some Iranian bloggers have been sent to jail and many have had their sites filtered. If the Iranian parliament approves this draft bill, bloggers fear they could be legally executed as criminals. No one has defined what it means to “disturb mental security in society”.

Such discussion concerning blogs has not been unique to Iran. It shows that many authorities do not only wish to filter blogs, but also to eliminate bloggers!

A translated English copy of the proposed legislation is here.

Iran is a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

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