Indian Man Arrested for "Insulting the Prophet Muhammad" P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic On October 12, a man identified as Jay Prakash Mohanty was arrested in Uttarakhand, India, for social media posts insulting the Prophet Mohammad.
Thirty-year-old Mohanty, a contract worker, was arrested by Naugaun Police after receiving a written complaint about his Facebook posts. Demonstrations were also held outside police headquarters, demanding action.
According to the police, “Evidence was found of controversial posts by Mohanty in Facebook slandering not only Prophet Mohammad but Gods of other religions too.”
He’s been booked under three sections of the Indian Penal code and the Information Technology Act of 2000. The penal code sections are 153(A), offense in any place of worship, assembly, or religious ceremonies; 295 (A), insults or attempts to insult religion or the religious beliefs; and 503, criminal intimidation.
Countries eager to prosecute blasphemers have added or adjusted laws to include online activity. According to Amnesty International, “The web has made it easier for governments to prosecute people, in part, because online comments and social media posts live on forever.”
Deputy Director for Policy Research at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Elizabeth Cassidy, says that the web has been a source of accelerated blasphemy allegations, particularly following the Arab Spring. “I think we saw people willing to say things online that they weren’t willing to say before, so that’s been a worry. And we’re seeing more moves against people who say they are atheist or are questioning the existence of god,” she said.
In a USCIRF study from 2014 to 2018, social media blasphemy cases had several dangerous findings. The ability to like, share, or save a single post or image deemed blasphemous can multiply quickly, snaring anyone who reacts. There is also the likelihood of persons other than the State, such as religious and community leaders, to identify and investigate local social media accounts. These same platforms can be used to “organize, incite, and threaten mob violence against alleged blasphemers.”
According to the five-year study of cases of criminalized blasphemy involving social media, nearly half (47%) involved Facebook.
According to the Brookings Institute, Islamic countries most notable for violence and arrests for Facebook posts over the last decade include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. Countries that have made arrests based on Twitter posts include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Of non-Islamic countries that criminalize online blasphemy, Russia tops the list, followed by India and Myanmar.