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Hamza Kashgari was detained for 625 days for tweeting a mock conversation between himself and the prophet Mohammed.
By Milana Knezevic / 29 October 2013
Saudi journalist and blogger Hamza Kashgari, detained for 625 days on blasphemy charges, has been released.
The news was confirmed by Saudi human rights activist Walid Abulkheir, who told AFP: “The authorities freed Kashgari at 6.30 am (0330 GMT)”
This morning, Kashgari himself tweeted: “Mornings of hope…souls that live and never die. Thanks to God.”
The 23-year-old writer was arrested in 2011 when he tweeted a mock conversation between himself and the prophet Mohammed which sparked furious responses, including death threats.
He tried to flee Saudi Arabia, but was detained in Malaysia and deported following a request by Interpol on behalf of Saudi authorities.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.
Tags: blasphemy | free speech | Hamza Kashgari | Saudi Arabia
In the latest issue of Index on Censorship magazine Spies, secrets and lies: How yesterday’s and today’s censors compare, we look at nations around the world, from South Korea to Argentina, and discuss if the worst excesses of censorship have passed or whether new techniques and technology make it even more difficult for the public to attain information.