by Chinmoy Kanjilal | Sunday, 12th Feb 2012
With its rising popularity, Twitter has given a new meaning to free speech and highly engaging global communications. However, this popularity has come for a price. The opinions and sentiments that people tweet are being used as evidence against them, increasingly. This threatens the aura around Twitter, and the recent censorship attempts by various governments taint its image further.
Recently, A Saudi Journalist, Hamza Kashgari, was extradited from Malaysia, for making seemingly blasphemous remarks on Prophet Muhammad. To make matters worse, Interpol was forced to hand over Kashgari. This same Interpol is supposed to remain politically neutral, and not intervene on cases of military, religious or racial nature. Article 3 of the Interpol’s constitution clearly states that
It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.
The Guardian reports this incident, saying,
Kashgari, a newspaper columnist, fled Saudi Arabia after posting a tweet on the prophet’s birthday that sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. The posting, which was later deleted, read: “I have loved things about you, I have hated things about you, and there is a lot I don’t understand about you … I will not pray for you.”
Kasgari is a 23-year-old journalist and faces the death penalty for this deed. This matter proves once again that regional laws govern the use of Twitter. It is only time before someone points a finger at the things we tweet.