The official news agency of Iran carried a report a while ago stating that the parliament is likely to toughen some of the laws, already in existence and make anti-establishment blogging an offence punishable by death.
Specifically the parliament will be discussing a bill by which they can then enforce the death penalty for certain ‘crimes’ that up until now, have attracted a lesser sentence. Details on the bill can be found on a site promoting human rights for Iran:
Of particular interest to the Iranian law enforcers will be people who set up weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy. Apostasy – the abandonment or forsaking of religious faith, vows or principles – is considered a particularly intolerable crime in the extremely religious state.
Bloggers who commit these so-called crimes will be categorised as enemies of the state (Mohareb) or enemies of God on Earth (Mofsed fe-al-arz).
The official agency says that the bill is intended to “toughen punishment for harming mental security in society.” In other words, they will further reduce the levels of tolerance in the country.
At present they ‘only’ arrest bloggers who may dare to challenge the government in any manner.
According to Amnesty International, 317 executions were carried out in Iran for various crimes last year, which is close to double the number of executions in the previous year when they carried out 177 executions.
It so happens that blogging has become a very popular activity among youngsters in Iran, who often try to challenge the old school of thought, which is extremely conservative.
According to The Committee to Protect Bloggers, Iran is one of the worst places to live in for bloggers, as they are constantly harassed, even to the extent of imprisoning bloggers and students.