Zaman arrest Ozan Kose/ Stringer via getty images

Difamación y desarrollo en el mundo árabe

AMÁN – En estos días, cuando el radicalismo violento y las guerras civiles de Oriente Próximo y el Norte de África captan la atención del mundo, quedan en segundo plano los enormemente injustos sistemas legales de la región. Sin embargo, leyes como las que penalizan la difamación facilitan la represión política y económica, obstaculizando el desarrollo y destruyendo vidas humanas.

Quizás sea el gobierno de Egipto el que más hace uso de las leyes contra la difamación y la blasfemia para suprimir las opiniones diferentes. En particular, sus autoridades usan con descaro el Artículo 98(f) del Código Penal egipcio (que prohíbe a los ciudadanos difamar una “religión divina”, incitar a la lucha sectaria o insultar al Islam) para detener, perseguir y encarcelar a miembros de grupos religiosos no mayoritarios, especialmente los cristianos. Todo lo que necesitan es la vaga acusación de que sus actividades ponen en riesgo la “armonía comunitaria”.

Más aún, hace poco el escritor Ahmed Naji recibió una sentencia de dos años por violar la “modestia pública” al publicar un extracto de su novela en que había referencias sexuales explícitas. Y esto, apenas un mes después de que la autora Fatma Naoot apelara a la sentencia de tres años por “desprecio al Islam” a causa una publicación en Facebook en que criticaba la matanza de animales para una festividad musulmana. La lista suma y sigue.

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