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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
The autumn 2016 Index on Censorship magazine explores anonymity through a range of in-depth features, interviews and illustrations from around the world. Contributors include former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, journalist John Lloyd, Bangladeshi blogger Ananya Azad and philosopher Julian Baggini. This issue also has a thoughtful essay by novelist Hilary Mantel and illustrations by Molly Crabapple.