- Church of England allows female bishops
- Obama slammed by black Chicago residents: ‘Worst president ever’
- WHO urges healthy gay men to take HIV prevention drugs, cites ‘exploding epidemics’
- Ukraine: Military plane shot down by rocket
- Ebola crisis in West Africa deepens; 500+ dead
- Propaganda song popular among Central Americans was devised by U.S. Border Patrol
- Sen. Rob Portman: Math is on GOP’s side to win Senate this fall
- Four-time deportee arrested for molesting 9-year-old Texas girl
- Private investigators turn to drones to catch marital cheaters, insurance liars
- Sleep issues can accelerate Alzheimer’s, while mental exercises can delay it, study shows
Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook post
Question of the Day
NEW DELHI (AP) - As India’s financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were “due to fear, not due to respect.” A friend of hers hit the “like” button.
For that, both women were arrested.
Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday.
“We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship,” Markandey Katju, a former Supreme Court justice who now heads the Press Council of India, wrote in a protest letter to the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Katju demanded that the state government suspend the police officers who had ordered the arrests and prosecute them.
The women withdrew the comment and apologized, but angry Thackeray supporters ransacked an orthopedic clinic run by the uncle of one woman.
A lawyer representing the women, Sudheer Gupta, said police arrested them Sunday, the day of the funeral, on charges of creating enmity and hatred. They were released on bail Monday.
Shaheen Dhada, the 21-year-old who posted the comment appeared on television Tuesday, her face covered by a scarf so that only her eyes were visible.
Clearly terrified by her arrest and the attack on her uncle’s clinic, Dhada told NDTV television she would never again make comments on a social networking site. Both women said they have deactivated their Facebook accounts.
Dhada described her arrest as “unfair.”
“It was not a crime,” Renu Srinivas, Dhada’s friend who also was arrested, told NDTV.
India’s Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said he was “deeply saddened” by the arrests of the two women.
“Freedom of speech is a very important right, and we need to protect it,” Sibal told reporters. He said the government would re-examine the laws governing information technology to prevent its misuse by the police.
“We want to make sure that this law is not meant to prevent people from stating their point of view on any issue,” Sibal said Tuesday.
Shops and offices were closed Sunday as more than 1.5 million people attended Thackeray’s funeral.
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- EDITORIAL: The faux farmer in the Senate race in Iowa
- Sen. John McCain on illegal child immigrants: Fly them home, now
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- Eric Holder: 'Racial animus' fuels opposition to Obama and me
- Rand Paul to Rick Perry on Iraq: Get some new glasses
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs