Monday, March 23, 2009

Iran, Syria continue to punish political and "cultural" bloggers

The Washington Times today (Monday March 23, 2009) has an editorial about the legal and religious persecution of bloggers in Iran and Syria.

Blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi had been put in prison and died recently “Mysteriously”. His blog “Rooz Negar” had been regarded as a “cultural blog” but that was taken as “political.” The editorial also maintains that Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi has been held in prison for over a month.

In Syria, Tariq Biasi was arrested for publish a false statement, “I am a Muslim.” The editorial counts six words, I count four here!

The editorial is called “Death to Bloggers: Iran silences another free voice”, link here.

I wonder if I would be arrested if I simply set foot in Iran or Saudi Arabia. I haven’t seen the State Department warn western bloggers about this, but wouldn’t a visitor who blogs from home in the west and criticizes Islam be subject to arrest if in that country? When abroad you are subject to the laws of the host country. I wonder if it is safe to visit the Pyramids in Egypt some day.

Update: April 18

Iran has sentenced Roxana Saberi to eight years in prison. CNN story is here.

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