Middle East Censorship News

2013: April-June

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Update: Insulting Religious Bla-Bla...

Turkish blogger jailed for a year for blasphemy


Link Here 23rd May 2013

An Istanbul court has sentenced Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 58 weeks in prison for an alleged insult to the religious character Muhammad in a blog post. The charges were insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the society.

Nisanyan was charged with blasphemy after writing a blog post titled:

[We] need to fight hate speech. Making fun of an Arab leader who claimed he contacted Allah hundreds of years ago and received political, financial and sexual benefits is not hate speech,

On May 22, the day of the sentencing, Nisanyan bravely retweeted his blog post, writing:

Let's share the article that was sentenced to 13-and-a-half months at the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court for insulting religious bla-bla.

 

 

Likely Government Internet Shutdown...

Syrian internet comes back online after about a day of downtime


Link Here 9th May 2013

Syria's Internet links to the outside world were restored almost 20 hours after e-mail, websites and other services became inaccessible across much of the country, Google and other Web companies said.

Bakr Bakr, director general of the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, a government-related company, claimed that the Web outage was a malfunction in a fiber-optic cable, according to an earlier report by the Middle East News Agency. Maintenance teams were working to restore access, Bakr was cited as saying.

The reason for the disruption wasn't immediately clear and may be due to a government-ordered shutdown of the Internet, according to Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer at Umbrella Security Labs and OpenDNS. Damage to infrastructure or cyberattack also are possibilities, though unlikely, he said.

 

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