Without even mentioning the country where this took place, one can correctly deduct from the headline a limited number of countries where such ridiculousness would be executed.
Despite the extensive progressive discourse surrounding free speech with built in pillars such as opinions and speculations, a group of countries continue to lynch and assault the foundation that holds together freedom of expression in a way that could easily pass for parody.
“An Egyptian blogger has been sentenced to three years in jail with hard labour for claiming on national television 30 per cent of wives would cheat on their husbands if they had the chance,” reports MailOnline.
The website adds that, the blogger was “sentenced under a ‘spreading false news’ charge, the court in Egypt Taymour el-Sobki’s comments would harm public peace and damage the public interest.”
The blogger-El-Sobki faced a backlash from other TV talk show hosts and civilians who filed complaints to public prosecutors accusing him of insulting Egyptian women.
This is offensively ridiculous—one that would mostly be expected to emerge from the totalitarian cut-off state of North Korea. But this time, the case sheet resides in Egypt.
MailOnline writes that;
El-Sobki had stated: ‘Many women cheat on their husbands. I can say that 30 percent of women are ready to be deviant’.
In particular, he claimed, women in the southern cities of ‘Asyut, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan’.
El-Sobki, whose Facebook page called ‘Diaries of a Suffering Husband’ has more than one million followers, added: ‘Many women are involved in extramarital affairs while their husbands are abroad.’
His comments included the suggestion that arranged marriages in traditional southern Egypt exacerbated the problem of infidelity because women ended up with men they didn’t know.
After the claim a masked man from the region appeared in a video carried on YouTube armed with an assault rifle, and issued a death threat against El-Sobki.
However, the court’s decision has been condemned by human rights groups.
‘We can criticize or reject the comments he made, but he did not commit a crime,’ said prominent rights lawyer Gamal Eid.
Under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, authorities have waged crackdowns against Islamists, then left-wing activists and finally against broader dissent. But lately, many activists say harassment and threats have broadened even to people with no connection to politics or activism.
Artists, writers, and intellectuals have expressed fear over the future of free speech and creativity in Egypt following a two-year sentence handed by an appeals court last month against author Ahmed Naji for violating ‘public modesty’ through publishing an excerpt of his novel containing a sex scene in an Egyptian literary magazine.
Such stories remind us that even though we may pride ourselves as generally having dusted off the zeitgeist of the oppressive regimes of the 40’s into a contemporary more tolerant societies, certain countries proudly reside in the stinking past of oppressing speech..
This post was published on March 14, 2016 1:58 PM