Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, Egypt
Three al-Jazeera journalists—Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed—were jailed for seven years for spreading false news and supporting the now-banned group, the Muslim Brotherhood. The trio had denied the charges. On New Year’s Day, the country’s top court ordered a retrial... Reporters Without Borders ranks Egypt as second in the world for the number of journalists arrested, including this photojournalist who describes his 16 months behind bars as an “endless nightmare.”
Prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey
Turkey held almost 50 journalists in jail two years ago. There are seven journalists in jail at the moment, mainly for producing propaganda for outlawed political parties.
King Abdullah, Jordan
Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian writer for The Jerusalem Post, was sentenced to as much as 15 years in jail with hard labor for writing about the king’s dependence on Israel for power. He told the the paper he was charged with “inciting hatred and attacking Jordan’s image and the image of its one nation.” He spoke from the UK, where he has been granted asylum.
Prime minister Enda Kenny, Ireland
Perhaps most surprising of all in these circumstances, Ireland has had “blasphemy” as a criminal offense on its books since 2009. Already one Muslim has threatened legal action against any Irish publication that reprints Charlie Hebdo’s front-page depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. Blasphemy is punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 ($29,500), but there are plans to hold a referendum to abolish it... Blasphemy is defined by the Irish as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion.” It doesn’t sound like the drafters of this law would have much time for the people at Charlie Hebdo.
Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News