Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another blogger jailed

Libyan blogger Abdel Raziq al-Mansuri has been convicted of handgun possession and sentenced to 18 months in prison. That's not the real half:
"The gun charges are a ruse," said the Middle Eastern director of HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson. "The authorities went after al-Mansuri because they did not like what he wrote."

Here's the AP story. (Love the headline: Libya Reportedly Puts Blogger in Prison. But I digress.)

You can read more about it at The Committee to Protect Bloggers, and Dean's World. The Tar Pit has more on the story and an initial blog round-up. It also has the Libyan Embassy link which looks like a good site to bookmark as I am sure that with the growing importance of the blogosphere, there will be many more of these government-blogger face-offs in the future.

I love the al-Mansuri family's attitude towards government's heavy-handedness:
His family said Libyan authorities have asked them to denounce al-Mansuri as mentally deranged. "If defending the right to free speech and asking for basic human rights is insane in our country, then welcome to a family that is, from its oldest to its youngest, insane," their letter said.
And, by the look of their prepared statement, they aren't a family to take this cowering in their homes.

Oh and don't miss this CNet report on al-Mansuri, Karim Seliman, and Chinese blogger Wang Yi.

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