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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Iran Blogs = Death Penalty ?

Harvard’s Internet and Democracy blog reports Iran drafted a bill "establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy", as crimes punishable by death. If the bill is passed, publish a blog in Iran and you could get the death penalty.
The new bill states those convicted of these crimes "should be punished as 'mohareb' (enemy of God) and 'corrupt on the earth."
Blogging in Iran is very popular. Cyber-savvy young Iranians have been criticising the political system for years.
In fact, Arab blogs are growing at a rapid rate despite bloggers being jailed for blogging. (See our previous posts) The February 2007 edition of the Columbia Journalism Review said that “blogging has taken off in the Arab world because it presents an opportunity to reclaim individuality. In a region where leaders, be they Hassan Nasrallah or Ismail Haniya, claim to speak on behalf of all Arabs, a blog is a chance to contradict, to undermine, and to assert. “
It seems that the Iranian bill is not likely to pass since only 19 members of the Majlis have signed on. At least 129 votes would be needed for it to be approved.
What do you think about the power of Arab bloggers to affect change and the power of authorities to stop them? Please post a comment.

14 Comments:

Blogger John Maszka said...

We need to understand that Iran has its own culture and we need to respect its sovereignty. The young people of Iran will change their own society in the due course of time. The last thing we should do is impose our values upon another state.

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