TEHRAN -- The Iranian parliament is set to debate a draft bill that could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet. MPs voted yesterday to discuss as a priority the bill that seeks to "toughen punishment for harming mental security in society." In addition to such crimes as rape and armed robbery, for which the death penalty is already applicable, it includes "establishing Weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy." Under Iranian law, the standard punishments for these crimes are "hanging, amputation of the right hand and then the left foot as well as exile."
The Internet is widely used, despite restrictions on access and the blocking of thousands of Web sites.