Iran Approves Death Penalty for Pornographers

TEHRAN - Iran's parliament has approved a bill that would sentence persons convicted of producing pornography to death.

Lawmakers voted 148-5 with four abstentions that "producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corruptors of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corruptors of the world."

The "main elements in...production" referenced in the bill include producers, directors, cameramen and actors. According to CNN, the term "corruptors of the world" is derived from the Quran and carries a death pentalty under Iran's Islamic Penal Code.

Distributors and adult website operators could also face imprisonment and death. The bill encompasses all forms of sexually explicit media, including videos, DVDs and CDs. Pornbographic books and magazines are already banned in Iran.

In order to become law, the bill must now be approved by Iran's Guardian Council.

The bill follows in the wake of a scandal involving a pornographic video of Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi that began circulating on the country's black market last year. While Ebrahami has denied that she is the woman depicted in the video, she faces "fines, whip lashing or worse" for violating Iran's morality laws. Ebrahimi's male partner in the sex tape fled to Armenia but was later brought back to Iran, where he currently remains in jail.

The Associaed Press notes that "porn material is easily accessible through foreign satellite television channels in Iran. Bootleg video tapes and CDs are also available on the black market on many street corners."