Iran Draft Bill to 'Toughen Punishment' on Controversial Bloggers

NEW YORK - Iran's parliament voted last week to discuss a draft bill that would "toughen punishment" for a number of crimes that it perceives to be detrimental to society by making them subject to the death penalty, ARS Technica reported Monday.


Running a blog or website that encourages corruption, prostitution, or apostasy - the crime of leaving the religion of Islam - may soon be added to the list of crimes including rape, robbery and apostasy.


Iranian citizens found guilty of these infractions "should be punished as mohareb (an enemy of God) and ‘corrupt on the earth,'" according to the text of the bill seen by the AFP, which details a myriad of punishments such as exile, amputation and hanging. The bill also has conditions that say it cannot be suspended or changed in the future.


Blogging has blossomed among the youth of Iran during the last couple of years, but Iran has never been a staunch supporter of free speech.


The Committee to Protect Bloggers illustrates Iran as "among the worst offenders in terms of harassing, arresting and imprisoning bloggers."