Why a Saudi Blogger Faces a Possible Death Sentence for Three Tweets
“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of
divinity around you,” read his first tweet, translated here from the original Arabic. “I shall not pray for you.”
One of Mr. Kashgari’s friends noticed the tweets when he woke up. As he rushed off to work, he said to himself, ‘I’m afraid for him,’ he recalls.
Mr Kashgari fled Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, and was planning to continue to New Zealand. However, he was apprehended in Kuala Lumpur and handed over to Saudi authorities. He is in custody, while a groundswell of hatred has formed, demanding his execution. A Facebook page has been started in support of the death sentence for the 23 year old.. Meanwhile, this has become about freedom of expression across the many platforms used on the internet:
The sources said that public prosecutor in the Red Sea city of Jeddah was likely to summon people who expressed support or agreed with him on the social network, the daily reported yesterday.
The cultural divide between East and West is not in any imminent danger of being closed. I think this case will be getting a lot of attention going forward.