Freedom of speech is in danger

The suspicion that the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has been killed at the behest of the rulers of Saudi Arabia, raises the frightening prospect that once again our cherished freedom of speech is in danger.

Even here in New Zealand, there was a recent attempt to silence a man who was once the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

There are so many instances of these acts of suppression, that it would be impossible to list them all, especially if those with a religious context are included.

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We must remember that an attempt by the clerical establishment of one nation to silence a certain carpenter who came out of Galilee failed to deter his followers and the very act of suppression resulted in a great international movement that still upholds the right of free speech to this day.

I raise a glass to the editor of the Bay of Plenty Times in appreciation of his or her contribution to our free society.

Robert Shaw
Tauranga

NZ Gymnastics Champs

I attended three sessions of the New Zealand Gymnastics Championships at the ASB arena.
What a privilege it was to watch hugely talented young people perform to such a high standard.

Mostly the competitors came from regions all over New Zealand, but some Australians were also here.

The venue was superb but what impressed me most was the polite well-disciplined participants. I didn't know anyone taking part but have the greatest admiration for the competitors who showed maturity and wonderful skills.

Thanks to the organisers, coaches and gymnasts for an outstanding display of talent in such a friendly atmosphere of high-level competitions.

Viv Monk
Matua