You thought blasphemy laws were bad? According to a new law in the Indian state of Karnataka, officials can arrest you before you’ve even done anything that might be considered blasphemous.
The full explanation of what’s going on is better explained in the Bangalore Mirror, but here’s how bad it could get, according to Sunil Abraham of the Centre for Internet and Society:
If I publish an image of a naked body as part of a scientific article about the human body, is it obscene or not? It will not be obscene and, if I am arrested under the IT Act, I will be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours and can explain it to him. But now, I will be arrested under the Goonda Act and need not be produced before a magistrate for 90 days. It can be extended to one year. So for one year, I will be in jail even if I have not committed any wrong.
Even if the law is overturned by the court system, it may take a while — and who knows how many people will unnecessarily be taken into custody before that happens?