Deathcount: This Week in Online Tyranny
As I’ve stated elsewhere, we are a tech news blog, so humanitarian and political crises are not our bread and butter. That said, so much of the Jasmine Revolution has been augmented with social media that I think a brief (and insufficient) breakdown of what’s happened in the last week would not be inappropriate. There is no new tech news here, only important news. The loss of lives that can’t be undone. The tide of revolution seems to be breaking on a particularly rocky shore.
If you have different death-tolls, please post links in the comments
Syria sentences imprisoned online writer to prison, frees a blogger. Syria sentenced Ali Al-Abdallah to three more years in prison for an article which came out as he served his sentence for signing the Damascus Declaration. He was due to be released in June but will now serve at least 18 more months for criticizing Iran’s clericism in an article.
Kamal Hussein Sheikhou, a Kurdish Syrian blogger, has been released from prison after being arrested trying to flee the country with his brother’s passport.
Charges against Malaysian blogger dropped. In another rare bit of good news, satirical blogger Irwan Abdul Raman, who blogs as Hassan Skodeng is now a “free baboon.” He was arrested last September for a satirical story about a make-believe press conference in which he depicted a large power company as standing against an energy conservation campaign. He had faced a year in jail and a fine of 12,500 euros.
Thailand sends website editor to jail for 13 years. Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul, who runs the Nor Por Chor USA website, allied to the Red Shirt protest movement, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for three messages he posted critical of the king. Thailand’s affection for its royal family has translated into a lèse majesté law that the government frequently uses to cynically harass and punish opposition activists.
Red Shirt photo by Honou