Monday, October 6, 2008

Freedom For Political Bloggers Isn't Free

We bloggers in North America have it good and shouldn't take it for granted.

From Al-Jazeera:

"One of Malaysia's most prominent bloggers and a high-profile critic of the government has gone on trial for sedition. Raja Petra Kamarudin, who is already being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA), could be sentenced to three years in jail if he is convicted.

In an entry on his Web site - Malaysia Today - he allegedly implied that Malaysia's deputy prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, was involved in the high-profile murder of a young Mongolian woman.Raja Petra denies the allegation and supporters have criticised what they say is a government attempt to gag critics and suppress freedom of speech.
Raja Petra's blog is here. Interesting that the lead post dates from 2005, though the events he is accused writing about didn't take place until 2006. I'm interested to know if at some point the transnational community of political bloggers will develop its own professional association devoted to promoting the human rights of bloggers. So far it's easy to find bloggers who write about human rights, and human rights organizations that address free speech violations against bloggers, but it seems like there is a niche to be filled here.

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