Four foreigners have been arrested in Libya on suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.
The four – a Swedish-American, Egyptian, South African and South Korean – were arrested in Benghazi by Preventative Security, an intelligence unit of the defence ministry, accused of printing and distributing bible pamphlets in the city.
Libya retains a law from the Muammar Gaddafi era that makes proselytising a criminal offence potentially punishable by death. The arrests underlined the sometimes difficult relationship between churches and the new authorities. [The Guardian]
The Guardian has more on the story.
This is why we need to support freedom of speech, of religion and assembly no matter how repugnance we may think some specific speech, religion or gathering might be. No opinion, wherever it may be expressed or how it may be expressed, should be criminally punishable, certainly not punishable by death.
Yes, there are a few exceptions where certain expressions of opinion in certain very limited contexts may be punishable but too few to mention in the context of this post.