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// Websites hosted within Iran are subject to the control

policies of Data Communications of Iran and they can be removed without warning. Although harsher punishments are rare, the Computer Crimes Law does make provisions for them.

Software developer Saeed Malekpour, whose software was

used (unbeknownst to him) in the back-end construction of a

pornographic website, was recently sentenced to death by the Iranian government. One young Iranian we spoke with said,

“One day I logged on to Persian Blog to post something and

it was just gone. Everything was gone. All of my files. All of my

data. No warning or anything. And it wasn’t like I changed the content. It was just that it was growing in readership. Sure, it

wasn’t exactly legal according to the laws of the Islamic Republic but it wasn’t hurting anyone”

// Exactly how is it that the Islamic Republic justifies its

regime of censorship and repression against Iran’s sexual mi-

norities? We must remember that Iran’s conservative forces are also online and that they are an extremely valuable source of

information. Researchers frequently focus exclusively on what

liberal Iranians publish online without recognising the conver-

se. The Iranian government encourages conservative bloggers to create content and religious scholars receive stipends for

blogging and financial support for their blogs. From websites

claiming to be able to ‘cure’ gays, to religious scholars speaking out against homosexuality in their blogs, the ‘conservative’

internet is an important source of data on homophobia and

is representative of the intolerance of sexual diversity in the Iranian context.

// In the next section, we look at what the Koran says about

homosexuality and at what Iran’s religious scholars believe the Koran says about homosexuality. Through an analysis of com-

ments posted to their blogs and/or other blog posts published in response to their articles and analyses, we investigate the feedback from both their supporters and their critics.

LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?  

A Small Media report revealing how Iran’s LGBT communities use global communicationstechnology in their everyday lives.

LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?  

A Small Media report revealing how Iran’s LGBT communities use global communicationstechnology in their everyday lives.

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