SLAPPED or silenced through more violent means, because it indicates a sympathy with silence.
First, I mean to offer my congratulation to the writers and their supporters who had a Freedom of Speech rally in Bangladesh. They are standing up against extremism in the face of very real attacks, and I wish them all well.
In India, 41 literary figures have returned their honors from the Indian government in the face of what they perceive as a growing militancy and intolerance, that has been marked with the murders of MM Kalburgi, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, and Govind Pansare. Intolerance against writers should be given no quarter--where violence against thinkers takes hold, who knows who will next face violence?
The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, has spoken out against the crackdown in his country against speech crimes. He has said that many people who are practicing journalists have been picked up for nothing. (Except probably to intimidate and prevent honest stories from being written.) If Hassan Rouhani has any pardon power at all, I would like him to reconsider the cases of Atena Farghadani and Jason Rezaian. Let them have their freedom.
I think freedom of speech is valuable, incalculable. I want nations around the world to know that making speech more protected can result in more transparent government, less ability of dictators to use the media to frame people, and a better understanding in the world around us.