Details On Charges Against Arrested Bloggers

After yesterday’s post on arrests of bloggers I was curious about the reasons for the arrests, especially in countries such as Great Britain, France, and the United States. I have found more specifics on bloggers who have been arrested since 2003:

64 individuals have been arrested worldwide, serving a collective 78 years in prison.

15 months is the average jail time for arrested bloggers.

8 years is the longest sentence that the WIA found, given to four unaffiliated Chinese reporters in 2003 for “subverting state power; forming informal discussion group.”

3 countries account for more than half of all blogger arrests: China, Egypt, and Iran.

2007 brought more than half of the blog-related arrests in Egypt. WIA attributes the spike to that year’s local elections, a common catalyst for blog crackdowns, according to the report.

22 percent of those arrested last year were charged with using a blog to organize or cover a protest; 17 percent were for violating cultural norms; another 17 for commenting on public policy; and 11 percent for exposing corruption or human-rights violations.

344 Burmese bloggers have been arrested, according to the Committee to Protect Bloggers, but WIA could not confirm the account. Nonetheless, the report noted this figure, showing that its numbers are only the beginning.

4 unexpected countries showed up on the list: Canada, France, the UK, and the US. The French case was for “posting a blog about his local government’s waste and mismanagement.” The Canadian example was for “taking pictures at a conference for his blog.” The British blogger allegedly incited racial hatred. And the three American arrests were for 1) terrorism, 2) child pornography, and 3) videotaping a burning police car during a G8 summit.

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