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 state policy to control blogs
About a year and a half ago, the Iranian government demanded that bloggers should register and provide their names and addresses on a site called Samandehi. Many people believed such a process would facilitate legal action against them.
Bloggers resisted and many published an “I do not register my blog/site” banner on their blogs. The Government then realised it cannot have real control of the situation, or force bloggers to register.
Death penalty for saying the wrong things on a blog?
July 6, 2008 by tinyfrog