Friday, July 11, 2008

In May, 2008 a Malaysian blogger has been convicted on the charge of sedition. Raja Petra was the voice of modern Malaysian politics and society. There is interesting trend, now, to put sedition charges on every kind of blogger. However, Journalist facing sedition charges is nothing new. Even Bal Gangadhar Tilak faced it during the repressive British regime. As the editor of 'Kesari', Tilak on May 12, 1908, titled his editorial 'The misfortune of the country', castigating the ruthless bureaucracy. British Government arrested him on May 25, 1908. They convicted him, by jury trial on July 17, 1908. This lead to a sentence of six years' imprisonment in the case for Tilak . The case is popularly known as 'Second Sedition .

Sedition, as Section 124-A reads, has to be an act - doing something diabolic against the ''government established by law". The trend of bloggers facing sedition charges is something new. In Article 19 of Universal declaration of human rights it was mentioned that “Everyone has right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek receive and impart information and idea through any media and regardless of frontiers “. Are people practicing the freedom of right to express? Reality seems to give a negative answer Following are the links, which informs about arrest and prosecution of bloggers in different parts of world.

According to a new report by the World Information Access Project, 64 independent bloggers are arrested since 2003, suggesting governments around the world are growing more aware of blogs and more likely to act to silence .

Are they silencing bloggers through seditious trail or the right of every human being to have the freedom of his speech?

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