The Five Most Dangerous Countries for Bloggers

Internet nerds became terribly excited recently when Twitter sprung a man from jail, but it's worth noting that in most of the world, blogging is much, much more likely to send you to to clink. While there are a number of bloggers whose eternal imprisonment—possibly in the Phantom Zone—we fantasize about daily, we grudgingly admit that throwing bloggers in jail for blogging is probably bad. So as a public service, we're here to tell you where not to blog if you value your freedom. China and Iran probably get the most press for their blogger crack-downs, and Malaysia just arrested a blogger this week, but if there's anything we learned from skimming the site of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, it's this: don't Tumblr in Egypt.

Egypt

Egypt really takes the cake, arresting, detaining, harassing, and beating bloggers that span the entire ideological spectrum, from the ultra-conservative Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christian minorities to socialists.

  • Kareem Amer. Site: Karam903.blogspot.com. Result of arrest? Not good. "The trial was adjourned to February 22, 2007 where the judge said Nabil was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mr Mubarak."
  • Esraa Abdel Fattah Ahmed Site: A now-deleted Facebook group urging protests against food price hikes. Result of arrest? Released!
  • Another blogger/protester, Mahamed El Sharkawi, was also released.
  • Not so lucky: fellow protester Kareem El Beheiri. Site: egyworkers.blogspot.com. Still in custody after reported beatings and electric shocks.
  • Back in November of 2007, Egyptian authorities arrested blogger El-Hendy (Site: Eshreen) for a protest. He too was eventually released.
  • A month before that, they detained human rights blogger Hala El-Masry. Her site: Deleted.
  • Muslim Brotherhood member Abd El-Rahman Faras was arrested in 2007 for anti-government threats on his site. He was released on the condition that he'd erase the offending post.


Saudi Arabia

  • Fouad al Farhan is known as the Father of Saudi Blogging—sort of the Instapundit of Saudi Arabia except actually dedicated to reforming and improving his nation. He was arrested in December for an anti-government listicle and finally released in April.

China

  • Jamyang Kyi is a Tibetan blogger who was arrested just a month ago by the Chinese. The charges are unknown, though an arrest basically guarantees a conviction. We probably won't be hearing from her again for a little while. But hey, who's got Olympic Fever!
  • Probably not Chinese dissident Hu Jia, who was sentenced to 3-and-a-half years in prison for blogging dissident-y things.
  • They don't always jail bloggers in China, of course. Sometimes they throw them in mental hospitals! He Weihua was guilty of blogging about human rights, which you probably could've guessed.

Iran
Reza Valizadeh was arrested last November for, uh, revealing that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's guard dogs were overpriced. Seriously. Ahmadinejad is a blogger himself, but that hasn't stopped his nation from arrested dozens of web scribblers. Including:

  • Soheil Asafy
  • Sina Motellebi
  • Arah Sigarchi
  • Mojtabal Saminejad
  • Omid Sheikhan
  • Nadme Omid-Parvar—who was pregnant at the time of her arrest.


Syria


But those five nations aren't all! Other bad eggs include:

And, of course, the US of A.