Persecution in Iran: the regime prepares a new legislation that toughens the penalties against what it considers false information

The new change refers to article 512 of the penal code, which deals with “those who provoke the people to disturb the security of the country by instigating war, massacres and civil unrest” (Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS) (WANA NEWS AGENCY/)

A plan by the Iranian parliament to add two new articles to the Islamic Penal Code could further restrict civil liberties and freedom of expression.

According to the Iranian news portal EtemadWith new legislation being prepared by the Iranian regime, making any kind of comment that the regime deems disinformation can be subject to penalties of up to 15 years in prison and fines.

The report by this Iranian outlet also opined that the new legislation may mainly target “well-known and famous” people.

Parliament had previously tabled another motion called Add two articles to Chapter five of the Islamic Penal Code, which asked to change articles 499 and 500 of the law. The new article 499 now calls for harsher punishment for those “who insult ethnic or religious minorities with the aim of inciting violence and tension,” and the new article 500 intensifies punishment for “those who commit crimes against law enforcement and government buildings.

The new change refers to article 512 of the penal code, which deals with “those who provoke the people to disturb the security of the country by instigating war, massacres and civil unrest”according to Iran International.

The new legislation extends the duration of the imprisonment up to 15 years and also requires payment of up to 550 million rials regardless of whether or not the act committed “will lead to murder and destruction of property.”

The amendment says that “any person with a good job or a good social position or anyone who is a cultural, scientific or military figure, including those with a high position in their family” could be subject to a new punishment “if they do a previous comment or contrary to the official opinions about the state of things in the country, either by word of mouth or on social media.”

Iranians protest the death of Mahsa Amini (AP Photo, file)
Iranians protest the death of Mahsa Amini (AP Photo, file) (Uncredited /)

Therefore, with this new legislation, an event like the murder of Mahsa Amini in police custody should not be discussed on social media or otherwise until there is definitive official testimony. No one can contradict what the regime says, or his sayings could be interpreted as instigation of riots.

Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, Chairman of the Majles Judicial Committee, told Etemad that the new legislation is still being reviewed and is intended to bring “false news, lies, and rumours” within the jurisdiction of section 512.

Iran has experienced a major protest movement since the death in September Mahsa Amini, A 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died after being arrested for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s dress code.

The Iranian authorities have executed 55 people so far this year, an NGO for the defense of human rights said on Friday, with the aim, according to it, of sowing “terror” in the country, shaken by the demonstrations.

the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Norway, indicated that it confirmed at least 55 executions in the first 26 days of the year.

Four people were executed for reasons related to the protestswhile the majority of those hanged (37 sentenced to death) were for drug-related offences, according to the same source.

According to IHR, at least 107 could be executed because of the demonstrations, having been sentenced to death or being accused of crimes that could cost them the death penalty.

“All executions [ordenadas] by the Islamic Republic are political”, since the main objective of the authorities is to sow “terror in society”, the organization stressed.

“To stop the killing machine of the state, no execution should be tolerated, whether for political reasons or not,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

(With information from AFP)

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