Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Update: Samina Malik

Whilst I was away on holiday in Tunisia I did not bother with the news. Now it has suddenly dawned on me, what sentence did Samina Malik receive on the 6th December 2007. I posted on the 22nd November 2007 about the petition to Free Samina Malik and I was pleased to read now that Judge Peter Beaumont gave her a nine month suspended jail sentence after her conviction at the Old Bailey undersection 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 last month. She had already spent five months in custody.

I agree with Muhammed Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, when he said...

"Many young people download objectionable material from the internet, but it seems if you are a Muslim then this could lead to criminal charges, even if you have absolutely no intention to do harm to anyone else.

"Young people may well have some silly thoughts. That should not be criminalised. It is their actions that we should be concerned about."

...So, common sense prevailed in the end and Samina Malik has walked free from jail for downloading some material from the internet and writing poetry. Still, she spent five months in custody which is not a picnic and her freedoms were taken away. What message does this send out to the public? Our government does not trust us to think for ourselves, download content from the internet and for us to have a liberal freedom of expression. Our freedoms are being reduced, slowly but surely and Samina was the guinea pig who has spent five months in custody whilst our judicial system decides just how much freedom our citizens can enjoy.
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