OK, guys, let’s rally some attention for Samir Sadagatoglu and Rafik Tagi. If you haven’t heard of them, I’m not surprised, because this case has hardly gotten any press. Sadagatoglu, editor of the weekly newspaper Senet in Azerbaijan, and journalist Tagi received prison terms of four and three years, respectively, on May 4, 2007, the day after World Press Freedom Day. Tagi penned a piece the previous November titled “Europe and Us,” which compared Muslim and European Christian teachings and traditions and said the Christian societies were more successful and peaceful as a result. Not only did that draw charges of insulting Islam (both journalists are Muslim) and the convictions, but Islamists tried to kill the two in the courtroom and a cleric issued a fatwa calling for their assassinations. Outraged yet?
I brought up Sadagatoglu and Tagi in my National Review Online column Friday, but realized that these guys need a lot more ink. Finding a dearth of comprehensive articles about the case, I penned a dossier on the case today, available at my About Journalism site here. Please forward links and get the word out!!
Especially as we remember those who fought and died for our nation’s freedom today, let’s throw loud support behind those standing up for fundamental human rights and freedoms in their own nations.