Blogging about the wrong topics in Iran won’t just get you censored; it could get you killed. Iran’s parliament voted last week to discuss a draft bill that would “toughen punishment” for a number of crimes that it believes to be detrimental to society by making them subject to the death penalty. This list already includes crimes like armed robbery, rape, and leaving the religion of Islam (apostasy), but running a blog or website that promotes corruption, prostitution, or apostasy may soon be added.
Citizens found guilty of these crimes “should be punished as mohareb (enemy of God) and ‘corrupt on the earth,'” according to the text of the bill seen by the AFP, which lays out a spectrum of punishments ranging from exile and amputation (the theory apparently being that it’s hard to post without hands) to hanging. The bill also has stipulations that say it cannot be suspended or changed in the future. (link)