Sunday, November 26, 2006

No freedom of speech in Yemen

A Yemeni newspaper editor has been jailed for a year and banned from writing for six months after release for publishing the infamous Danish cartoons. Still, there is a plus side - at least he didn't get the death penalty.

As I said when the charges were first filed, this is utterly barbaric. Some of the cartoons may be offensive or in bad taste, some may verge on outright religious vilification (some are also bitingly pointed commentary; opinions as to which falls into which category may vary), but no matter how bad they are, no-one should be going to jail or facing any other punishment for publishing them. Ideas should stand or fall on their merits, not on who has the keys to the prison cells.