The leadership in some countries goes a few steps further, making headlines like this possible:
"Blogger arrests hit record high"
BBC (June 16, 2008)
"More bloggers than ever face arrest for exposing human rights abuses or criticising governments, says a report.
"Since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for publishing their views on a blog, says the University of Washington annual report.
"In 2007 three times as many people were arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006, it revealed.
"More than half of all the arrests since 2003 have been made in China, Egypt and Iran, said the report."
Having lived and been educated in America, I realize that "hate speech" is one thing, and the right to criticize the government is another. And, that "human rights abuses" can be a very serious thing indeed.
So, two points:
- If you're one of the bloggers who risk genuinely harsh treatment from your government, if you express the 'wrong' ideas, my hat's off to you
- If you live in a country with fewer restrictions, be careful what you wish for: that 'protective' restriction on expression might not be as good an idea as it seems