5 Countries Where Your Online Comments Could Land You in Jail

free jabbar savalan facebook page

When you log onto Facebook, you might expect to hear from long-lost friends or to see pictures from the latest family reunion. Maybe you follow Amnesty on Facebook or Twitter, read and comment on this blog, or keep a blog yourself.

But when you log off at the end of the day, you probably don’t expect the police to come knocking on your door. For people in some countries, that’s exactly what can happen. A 2011 study by Freedom House examining 37 countries found that 23 of them had arrested a blogger or internet user for their online posts. These encroachments on internet freedom – regardless of laws – come at a time of explosive growth in the number of internet users worldwide. Governments are clearly terrified because they know that information is power.


The Silencing of an Egyptian Revolutionary

Maikel Nabil

Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad is on hunger strike in prison © Private

October 1, 2011 was Maikel Nabil Sanad’s birthday and he spent it like he has spent most of the past month, on hunger strike against his imprisonment for speaking out against the Government.

An Egyptian blogger who has been working to expose the abuses of power of the Mubarak regime, Sanad was convicted on charges of publicly insulting the army on Facebook and via his blog.  In his post, Sanad called for an end to military conscription which he said should be voluntary instead of mandatory. He also drew attention to the continuing abuses by the military regime highlighting case after case in which protestors were arrested, beaten as military thugs and even tortured.


Egyptian Blogger Imprisoned for Facebook Comment on Hunger Strike

Image via Facebook

An honest voice of the Egyptian uprising is in danger of being silenced unless the Egyptian government listens to domestic and international pressure to release  prisoner of conscience Maikel Nabil Sanad.

Sanad, whose Facebook postings criticized abuses by the Egyptian military, began a hunger strike on Aug. 23. This week, his family told Amnesty International that his health has greatly deteriorated.

The blogger started the hunger strike to protest his detention in an Egyptian prison north of Cairo. Sanad was arrested on March 28 at his home in Cairo, tried in a military court on April 10 and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for publicly insulting the army through comments he made on Facebook, and for allegedly spreading lies and rumors about the armed forces on his blog.