Now let’s free the bloggers!

Sometimes we take those freedoms we do have for granted. Patrick notes the Sluggers may be fine, but in other places causing offence as a blogger can land you in jail with little hope of an appeal…

  • Paisley Lives

    Interesting. A pity Amnesty International lost its way a long time ago. Egypt, close ally of the USA and Israel that it is, is very repressive so bloggers, like anyone else, cannot expect much solace there.

  • bollix

    to lock up the 2 azeri bloggers for criticising the government is plain wrong. we take it for granted that we can lambast politicians on this blog in a very direct (and indeed even abusive) way. democracy is only improved by holding our politicians to account.

    i recently had cause to go to azerbaijan on business. the government is certainly not the worst in the world, but there are serious flaws. one example obvious to me was that whilst we were there preparations were taking place for the vote to elect the current president as the president for life (after his father had previously held that position). That is already pretty dodgy. even more dodgy, the ceremony to celebrate him being elected president for life was already scheduled for very shortly after the vote. it does’t exactly inspire you with confidence that the process will be fair.

    i support amnesty’s campaign to release these 2 azeri bloggers.

  • … the current president as the president for life (after his father had previously held that position). ..

    Um, does that not remind you of somewhere else*?

    [*hint: not so very far away]

    People who live in glass houses, etc …

  • Dave

    Actually, it’s not true for a blog like Slugger to say that folks are able to make free political speech here. In fact, a lot of what is posted on Slugger has been made a crinimal offence under the EU’s Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism, and is punishable by imprisonment. Any statement of support for any active terrorist group in Northern Ireland, for example, is now illegal.

    [i](10) The definition of terrorist offences, including offences linked to terrorist activities, should be further approximated in all Member States, so that it will cover [b]public provocation to commit a terrorist offence[/b], recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally.

    (11) Penalties and sanctions should be provided for natural and legal persons having committed or being liable for public provocation to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally. [b]These forms of behaviour should be equally punishable in all Member States irrespective of whether they are committed through the Internet[/b] or not.[/i]

    Political omments on this forum that amount to an “extortion with a view to the perpetration of one of the acts” will also land you in jail.

  • Rory Carr

    Now I begin to see the method in Pete Baker’s madness. Should he fall foul of some future repressive legislation attacking free commentary on the web (not at all impossible though I will admit we’d have to stretch it a bit to imagine Pete being in breach of any law, but, please, indulge me here) Pete’s defence would surely take on the form of a legalistic filibuster.

    As each offensive item was produced in evidence his defence would insist that for clarity it was essential that the links be followed backwards…
    You with me now? After the first thirteen years of the trial I just bet that the prosecution would fold its hand and Pete would walk away exonerated to the cheers of his thousands of devoted followers.

  • Dave

    And don’t forget that the EU is monitoring you:

    [i]The EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said last week that some 5,000 Internet sites “contribute to radicalising young people in Europe”.[/i]

  • Something of a disappointing response so far to the appeal to defend free speech and a couple of fellow bloggers.

    After the bonhomie and back-slapping of last night’s Awards, is there the capacity out there to turns words into action for these guys?

    When they are eventually released from prison, will it be because of or in spite of the response from Slugger O’Toole’s “34,503 unique visitors per month” (to quote the blurb from last night’s Awards’ brochure)?

    Will Emin and Adnan look at Slugger and think – ‘those Northern Irish bloggers may have their differences, but, when we needed help, they really came through for us’…? Or not?

    The gauntlet is down.

    (Thanks so far, bollix, by the way).