We take it for granted in America, but we truly do have this incredible gift of free speech. While we must always remain vigilant and ready to make sure we don't lose that right, we have it - and in so many parts of the world, people will live their entire lives without ever experiencing the freedom of logging onto a web site or holding up a sign or just freely saying whatever they want.
Our apparent close friend and American ally, Saudi Arabia, is one place where some of the worst human rights violations take place routinely - One such case where freedom of speech is being trampled is in the case of Hamza Kashgari. You may or may not have heard of him - FoxNews, 7% Saudi owned hasn't even written a single story about the fact that this man faces death penalty merely over some tweets about Muhammad, some found offensive. He apologized, deleted the tweets, and fled the country, looking for safety in New Zealand, but was stopped along the way in Malaysia and sent back.
He now faces death penalty. This is hardly uncommon in Saudi Arabia - vicious death calls for ridiculous reasons, but this case is a little unique because it was on Twitter (a company where Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal invested $300,000,000 dollars.) Twitter hasn't made any noticeable statements condemning the Saudis from killing its users. Might be a nice gesture, yeah?
This story is going largely forgotten by many, but shouldn't. We should recognize that we are allies with a country that represents everything we have fought so hard against, and if we are to do business with such a nation, we should be able to confidently voice our opposition to its horrific human rights atrocities - perhaps have some say in stopping the horror as well.
What can you do? Use the freedom of speech we do have in this country. Speak out on behalf of those that have no voice. Sign petitions, start your own, and spread the word.
and be sure to sign this one...
This is good to see, because it is getting a lot of signatures - it has surpassed it's goal and that is fantastic to see! The more we all speak out, the more likely it is for us to make an impact here and save a life, and potentially put some real focus on what has needed attention for so long - that being the horrific human rights atrocities taking place in Saudi Arabia.