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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.
blasphemy | free speech | Hamza Kashgari | Saudi Arabia
About Milana Knezevic
Milana Knezevic is the Assistant Editor, Online and News of Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship has dedicated its milestone 250th issue to exploring the increasing threats to reporters worldwide. Its special report, Truth in Danger, Danger in Truth: Journalists Under Fire and Under Pressure, is out soon. Highlights include Lindsey Hilsum, writing about her friend and colleague, the murdered war reporter Marie Colvin, and asking whether journalists should still be covering war zones. Stephen Grey looks at the difficulties of protecting sources in an era of mass surveillance.