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Russian Faces Up to Year in Prison for Denying Existence of God

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Oh, Thank God, we are not in Russia!

[h=1]Russian Faces Up to Year in Prison for Denying Existence of God[/h]by Alexey Eremenko

MOSCOW — A Russian faces up to a year in prison for saying "there is no God" during an argument on social media, his lawyers said Wednesday.
Viktor Krasnov also wrote the "Bible is a collection of Jewish fairy tales" during the discussion on European social networking site Vk.com in 2014, lawyer and human-rights activist Pavel Chikov posted on his Facebook page.
Krasnov, whose offending posts have been deleted, is on trial in his native city of Stavropol in southern Russia, according to the local magistrate's website. Charges were filed in the fall of 2015 and the trial began on Monday, according to his lawyer.
Russia's Investigative Committee — the equivalent of the FBI — charged Krasnov with "offending believers' feelings," which was criminalized in Russia after a notorious performance by punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012. Two band members were jailed in 2012 for performing an anti-Vladimir Putin song at the cathedral.
Anti-government news website Grani.ru reported Tuesday that Krasnov was forcibly subjected to a month-long psychiatric check during the investigation. He was was declared sane, according to the news website. "I don't know how you can treat social networking posts seriously," Grani.ru cited Krasnov as saying. "Looks like we need a law to protect atheists' feelings too."
Krasnov and Chikov were not immediately available for comment.
Dozens of Internet users faced criminal persecution for their online activity in recent years in Russia, which was downgraded to "non-free" for the first time by Freedom House rights watchdog in its 2015 installment of the "Freedom on the Net" rating.

India may be a poor and developing country.
But in freedom of speech, Indians are richer than their counter parts in the richest countries !!
We can go any extent in the name of free speech criticizing our Gods & Goddesses...We are very good at desecrating & uttering profanities in the name of atheism, marxism & equality!
India may be a poor and developing country.
But in freedom of speech, Indians are richer than their counter parts in the richest countries !!
With the caveat:
As long as it is approved by the administration, or no body notices it. It also matters as to who is saying it.
If you are of the wrong party you can be prosecuted for sedition, or hounded out.

The decision last week by Penguin India to withdraw from publication and pulp copies of “The Hindus: An Alternative History” is only the latest assault on free speech in India. The publisher’s move is likely to encourage more demands for censorship.

Both Hindus and Muslims have invoked this law to ban books they deem offensive. In addition, powerful companies and individuals have used libel charges to get books banned, and India’s government has used a 1951 amendment to the Constitution granting it the power to impose restrictions on free speech to ban books as well.

In December, India’s Supreme Court granted a stay of publication against a book about an Indian conglomerate, the Sahara Group, after it filed suit against the author. In 2011, Siddhartha Deb’s “The Beautiful and the Damned” was published in India minus a chapter after the person who was the subject of that chapter filed suit in an obscure provincial court. Outdated laws are only part of India’s free-speech crisis. Hindu nationalists, in particular, have lashed out against speech they do not like with threats of violence. Penguin, for example, cited “a moral responsibility to protect our employees against threats and harassment” in withdrawing Ms. Doniger’s book.
Meanwhile, simply reporting the news in India has become a potentially dangerous undertaking. In a report published last week, Reporters Without Borders ranked India 140th for free speech out of 180 countries surveyed. Journalists regularly face pressure, including direct threats, to tread lightly when reporting or commenting on Hindu-nationalist views or candidates.
While freedom of speech is a right enumerated in Indian law, there is a large set of exceptions. Indian Penal Code section 153 specifically states:

"Whoever... promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place or birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquility...shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both."​
In India, as elsewhere, these laws are selectively enforced, such that politicians can directly incite racial hatred without facing any consequences, while ordinary citizens can be arrested for "liking" a Facebook post without any hate speech whatsoever:

Two girls arrested for Facebook post questioning 'Bal Thackeray shutdown' of Mumbai, get bail

Or for drawing a political cartoon criticizing a politician in power.

In India, It is not just the government that doesn't understand the value of freedom of speech, but also the Common Man of our country.

We love to worship things; our leaders, our gods, our celebs, our sanskriti. And we are offended very easily. Be it Salman Rushdie’s book, Penguin India’s ban over Hindus: An Alternative History, Billu Barber incident or ‘Ram Leela’ incident. All it reveals is our orthodox mentality, our resistance to change and our lack of respect to the right to Freedom of Speech.

Remember Bal Thackerey's death incident. When it came in the news, what pained me wasn't just that the police arrested those (innocent?) girls, I was hurt more when I read the comments of people in social media. People in large numbers, who didn't have any political ties, supported that incident. For them it was a righteous decision, because she disrespected him by sharing her polite opinion. We can tolerate Owaisi’s hate speeches, we can tolerate Shiv Sena’s vandalism, but what needs immediate police action is a girl’s Facebook status.
Freedom of speech fails in India after 800+ social media pages are blocked to protect “religious sensibility” in 2015.
The number of social media pages blocked by the government for carrying objectionable content rose to 844 till November 2015, the Parliament has been informed. Out of the total, the government blocked 492 web pages under Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000 based on recommendation of a committee set up in this regard, compared to 10 blocked in 2014, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Under Section 69A of IT Act, the government has power to block any information in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, national security, friendly relations with foreign states or for maintaining law and order.
“A total of 136, 13 and 10 and 492 URLs of social media websites were blocked in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, till November 30, 2015, respectively under Section 69A through the Committee constituted under the rules therein,” Prasad said.
The social media links that were blocked on court orders stood at 352.
“Further, a total of 533, 432 and 352 URLs of social media websites were blocked in compliance with the directions of the competent courts of India in 2013, 2014 and 2015, till November 30, 2015,” Prasad said.

The minister said that the government does not separately maintain data on web pages blocked for anti-religious content. He said that in 2014, a total of 4,192 cases were reported under Section 66A of IT Act which had provision of jail term for sending offensive messages online, but the section is no longer valid since Supreme Court annulled it in March 2015.
As per data of 2014 shared by Prasad, 2,423 persons were arrested, out of which 1,125 were charge-sheeted and 42 were convicted under Section 66A of IT Act.

Source: http://bit.ly/1Z4NQH6
First of all we should know what is freedom of speech.

Just because I am having freedom of speech, I could not speak what all I think in mind.

Freedom should have some untold boundaries and intricacies.
Freedom will not give automatically to infringe into the rights of the others who also have similar rights.
Hiding under the right of freedom of speech and offending others is nothing but amounting to infringing into others freedom.

In all the quoted examples if one sit alone and try to analyse the outstanding facts, then the one will understand that freedom in a country is not entitled only to one or to one group but to all other fellow ones /citizens.

Freedom is to be understood in the context that not one could do or speak what he wish but with the context of creating an atmosphere conducive for the fellow citizens,who also have the similar freedom, to coexist with all the dignity as the one who thinks what he deserve.

The freedom has its own limitation in coexistence with persons who all have various / different beliefs which often may not be acceptable to their neighbours.


Only, live experience in society will teach that to enjoy freedom in coexistence, tolerance is an essential virtue and the most essential virtue is not testing others tolerance often !!

I am not quoting any body; these are all my personal understanding of the freedom in question; so also everybody has the freedom to have the opinion of their own.
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