Iran is afraid of bloggers, and is instituting the death penalty to harshly curb their rights.
New legislation has been proposed in Iran that could make blogging a crime punishable by death. Cyrus Farivar has a story on today’s edition of the PRI radio show The World: Iran considers harsh penalty for some bloggers (3:30).
Over at 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. [International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran]
Aside from being a gross violation of human rights, it is an admission by the Iranian government that they are too weak to stand up to opposition. Apostasty will be used to silence religious criticism, and “corruption” is a catch-all that will surely be used to silence political opponents.
When a country resorts to murder to keep power, it eventually finds that a tighter grip is a weaker one. All America needs to do is be diplomatic and friendly, depriving Iran of a common enemy to unite against. As sympathetic friends, we’ll find ourselves in the better position of being inspirational to the brave people in Iran who fight back.