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Iran Considers Death Penalty for Bloggers, Russia Jails One

The beauty of the Internet is getting to say exactly what you want in a public forum, right?(Well that and stalking ex-boyfriends and shopping at work, but I digress.) The ability to speak one's mind in bytes and blips has landed one blogger with a jail sentence for extremism. A Russian man who called the local police “scum” and calling for the clean-up of the force he blogged that the police should be burned in the town square twice a day. For this posting, was convicted of “inciting hatred or enmity” and given a one-year suspended sentence.

Free speech activists said the ruling is creating a dangerous precedent: “This was an absolutely unjustified verdict ... This verdict means it will be impossible to make rude comments about anybody.” News of the sentence permeated Russian blogs yesterday leading some to say, "I don't know now if I should be writing here or not." For his part, new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said he prizes free speech and that Russia should use a light touch when policing the Internet. That's not the case in Iran. To see what's happening there,


In Iran, they have a somewhat different interpretation to "light touch" — the death penalty. Their parliament is debating a bill that would call for death for anyone “...establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption. . .” Though the government itself will decide what would constitute “promoting corruption." Among other death sentence crimes in Iran are apostasy (leaving a religion, in this case Islam), prostitution, rape and armed robbery.

No word on the world's reaction to the ultimate crime against blogging — starting one and then never posting again.

Is cyberspace the next battleground for free speech? Can speech on the Internet be protected as a vital outlet for those in countries with state-controlled media or oppressive governments?


Join The Conversation
syako syako 9 years
stil - sadly a lot of times it's not about a choice to 'put up' or 'not put up' My mother in law talks about growing up in the Soviet Union and the terrible things that happened to her family (like being shipped to Siberia for having profitable farm land) and how they waited in lines for bread and clothes, and how you had to be careful who you spoke to and what you said etc. etc. And there was no way she could just leave. You couldn't travel. You couldn't go get a passport and go somewhere else. First, the Soviets wouldn't allow it. And second, most countries wouldn't let them come in anyhow. It's sad. And it's even sadder that we take our liberties for granted, imo.
ShePirate2010 ShePirate2010 9 years
oh my
stiletta stiletta 9 years
I don't understand how people put up with such oppression.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I think we'd be strung up Rac. Is this a hint Citizen? ;)
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 9 years
Next they'll be using telepathy to determine those with "hatred" in their hearts o.0
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
Could you imagine what some of us would get for comments posted...:moo:
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
No humor intended, rac. It was actually quite traumatic. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, positive I can smell yet another brotherly emission... ;)
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Jude, that was the funniest thing I've read today.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
I am sooo a fan! :nerdgirl: The farting emoticon represents those who wish that horrible fate on you. Plus, I was looking for any excuse to use emoticons as everyone else seems to be. :pilgrim2:
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Getting farted upon once in a while is good for the character, rac. At least that's what my brothers always told me.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Okay, so you're not my fan, but why fart on me?
amybdk amybdk 9 years
What?! Yooooou, Raciccarone?! NEVER! :smelly:
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I know there are some people here who probably wish me the same fate.
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