Facebook Like Arrest Sends Waves of Shock
Confusion and outrage have occurred in reponse to the Facebook 'like' arrest that has taken place in India. A student, 21 year old Renu Srinivasan, has been arrested for 'liking' a status of her friends, the friend, Shaheen Dhada, has also been arrested.
The prohibition of what's allowed on the internet and the decreasing amount of free speech available on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook is becoming more and more apparent. From the fairly benign to a boy being arrested in the UK for offensive comments on Twitter, to the shooting of Malala Yousafazai, a Pakistani girl who was shot after her outspoken writing via the internet in support of women's education in Pakistan. Dhada's facebook post read: "Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear and not due to respect." Reports CSMonitor, explaining that this was in regard to the recent strikes taking place to mourn the death of Bal Thackeray who founded a political party in India.
Apparently, the girls have been arrested under two acts of the Indian Penal Code: "505(2) 'creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.'" Plus, "Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that criminalizes online speech that is 'grossly offensive or of menacing character.'" And finally, "295A, which makes insulting or outraging religious feelings an offense." Apparently, for each offense they could face up to three years in jail, totalling a potential joint 18 years of incarceration for the pair. The arrests have come under huge criticism, and if the protest against the arrests, incarceration and trial of Pussy Riot are anything to go by, if this goes any further, the Indian judicial system will have the world to fight.