Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What do you mean, "I'm under arrest"?

©Jim Boorman
Huge h/t to the World Information Access Project and Sabrina I. Pacifici's beSpacific.com

We bloggers like to joke about ending up in Guantanamo Bay's prison camp because of our not-so-subtly masked disapproval (read: hatred) of Chimpy BushCo and his policies, and our willingness to air these thoughts online.

Some bloggers, however, actually DO end up being jailed. For an average of 15 months. This from a report I found here.
Unfortunately, one way to assess the political importance of blogging around the world is through the growing number of blogger arrests. Since 2003, 64 citizens unaffiliated with news organizations have been arrested for their blogging activities.

The topics of these blog posts vary, as do the kind of criminal charges and punishments handed down. Altogether 940 months of jail time has been served by bloggers around the world. China, Egypt and Iran account for more than half of all the arrests since 2003.
Lest you think this only happens in war-affected or unstable places like Iran or China, it's also happened in the UK this year.

And here, in 2006.

What are these people being charged with? Again from the report:

These bloggers expose bureaucratic corruption or human rights abuses and express opinions about political figures and public policy options. They post reports and photos from social protests. They write about political artwork, or share images and texts that some feel violate cultural norms.
The bloggers arrested in both England and here were charged with violating "cultural norms." The report doesn't say whether that means they did something illegal like post child pornography (which does WAY more than violate cultural norms, of course) or they just posted something about being gay, or being polyamory, or being agnostic. Those things technically violate our cultural norms, but they're hardly criminal activities worthy of jail time.

Learn more at the WIA Project web site. It might become important someday, especially if our government continues its jackbooted march toward fascism under McFossil, should he and his party steal the next election.
P.S.--the only thing I could find about the US blogger who was charged as a pedophile is to a Faux "News" report. I didn't dare google that too much longer lest I be flagged at work or something!

17 comments:

Liberality said...

this is some scarey shit!

GETkristiLOVE said...

Nothing like squelching the whole first amendment to make you feel at home in your own country.

Spartacus said...

DG - As long as the ability to tell stories exists, information will continue to flow. Right now the medium we use is the internet, but short of cutting out tongues and gouging eyeballs, incarceration will not stop the flow of information. Guantanamo is proof of that.

DCup said...

If they start tossing bloggers in the pokey for bad taste, I'm in trouble!

FranIAm said...

I feel sick...

no_slappz said...
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Dusty said...

Holy shit!

dguzman said...

Lib--yes indeed.

GKL--Exactly! God bless Amurka!

Spartacus--that gives me hope, man. Thanks.

DCup--you and me both!

Fran--that's how I felt.

Slappy--get the hell off my blog.

Dusty--indeed.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matty Boy said...

Josh Wolf, a blogger who went to Laney College and ran unsuccessfully fr mayor of San Francisco, was in jail for the same reason Judy Miller was in the can, for not releasing his notes and extra material to a grand jury. There was an anti-war protest in S.F. and Wolf had videotape of some young anarchists breaking up people's property. He wouldn't release any more of it to the cops and a grand jury decided to put him in jail.

So, jail time for bloggers, jail time for reporters and jail time for people who won't snitch about steroids, those things already exist in this country. No_slappz, as usual, is opinion rich and fact free.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dguzman said...

Oh gees, forgot to delete Slappy. Sorry Matty Boy.

Slappy--go spew your shit elsewhere.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dguzman said...

Slappy--coming back and posting the same comment still won't cut it. Go elsewhere.

karenzipdrive said...

Uhh pardon me while I dash off a quick blog entry about how wonderful Barbara Bush Sr. looks in blue.

dguzman said...

Karen, I'd rather see her and her whole family in County Orange, you know what I mean?

Mauigirl said...

Blogger arrests is a very scary thought...the fact that any of these occurred here or in the UK is particularly concerning.