Blogging Is A Crime ?

CopsBlogging is  a crime in certain countries: Burma, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Turkmenistan.

I knew that blogging and certain other online activities were considered criminal but I have to thank my friend George at Bahá’í Views  for posting about the site  Committee to Protect Journalists.

In a recent Special Report, they say:

“Bloggers are at the vanguard of the information revolution and their numbers are expanding rapidly,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “But governments are quickly learning how to turn technology against bloggers by censoring and filtering the Internet, restricting online access and mining personal data. When all else fails, the authorities simply jail a few bloggers to intimidate the rest of the online community into silence or self-censorship.”

I happen to live in the United States and we certainly have issues to deal with in terms of freedom of expression but I would still be a blogger in any of the countries mentioned because I’m sure I would find out about Reporters Without Borders  and their well-documented methods to circumvent repression and restraint against freedom of speech.

Just before I include my Spiritual Quote  for this post, I want to reproduce the pictures from CPJ’s article to add the color of the human dimension to these very black words…

Turkmen soldiers guard an Internet cafe in Ashgabat. (Reuters)

Sánchez’s Generación Y  is among a small but emerging group of independent Cuban blogs. (CPJ)

Zarganar is serving a 59-year prison term. (AP)

Amer is jailed for insulting the president and Islam. (Reuters)

Spiritual Quote:

16 June 1912
Talk at Central Congregational Church
Hancock Street, Brooklyn, New York

“This is a goodly temple and congregation, for—praise be to God!—this is a house of worship wherein conscientious opinion has free sway. Every religion and every religious aspiration may be freely voiced and expressed here. Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail—that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs—development and growth are inevitable. Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with openness and freedom. For this reason I am most grateful to the reverend doctor; I find him indeed a servant of the oneness of humanity.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 197

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