TEHRAN -- Operators of porn sites and anti-Islamic sites could all face the death penalty in upcoming trials.
Tehran's deputy prosecutor Reza Jafari told newspaper Vatan Emrouz that 50 Iranians have now been arrested and were being investigated for running websites related to sex of all kinds, promoting prostitution, and also attacking the nation's religious values.
"The accused in these cases face several charges, and so we will call for the maximum punishment prescribed by the law," Jafari said, reports Maktoob.com.
"A person who manages many immoral, anti-religious and anti-revolutionary sites, and corruption on Earth is legally punishable by death," said the prosecutor, who oversees cyber crimes in Iran.
Some 90 websites have been shut down since March and those arrested also had to pay massive bail amounts, it's been reported. The websites are charged with containing content that includes "incest, sex with children and animals, homosexuality and erotic stories" as well as "insults to religious sanctities."
The suspects were all arrested in Iran by its Revolutionary Guards, although some of them were based outside the country and supposedly "tricked" into returning.
Iran has charged that Google and other search engine companies provided "financial support" for the accused websites and operators. While child porn is an anathema to all sectors of the adult industry in most of the world, the death penalty in Iran applies to all forms of porn -- and protest.
The criminal justice blog at Change.org recently reported that Iranian actors accused of making porn films could face the death penalty under a 2007 law allowing capital punishment for those convicted of making obscene films.
Human rights roups such as Amnesty International consider Iran one of the world's most oppressive regimes and among the worst regarding capitol punishment, which includes death for victimless drug crimes, such as drug possession -- not the sale -- of more than 30 grams of heroin or 5 kilos of opium. The executions, especially for sex-related offenses, are carried out by public hanging.
The 2007 death penalty for porn is an extension of prior laws. In 2001, a woman was convicted of such "corruption on Earth" and was stoned to death in a Tehran prison for acting in a porn film.
Clearly a nation meting out 15th-century-or-earlier justice while also seeking to create 21st century nuclear weapons is a frightening prospect, indeed.