Those who are mute have no speech at all but if they have eyes and fingers, they could instead write what they are thinking. So when I say “freedom of speech”, I mean any form of communication.
In an ideal world, nobody should be punished for expressing their opinions or beliefs. This isn’t the way our world actually works, but that is irrelevant. Everyone is free to communicate what they want to the best of their ability. The only condition is that they must be prepared to handle the possibility that others will disagree or maybe even kill them for it. As long as you are fearless, you are free. I think that most people are afraid of bad consequences and, therefore, try to say whatever the popular opinion of others is, in order to avoid the chance of criticism. It makes sense but it leads to dishonesty because they say only what they think that people want to hear. That means that their words are popular opinion and may not even be what they, themselves, truly want to say. If they only copy what others have already said, then no one will ever learn anything new. Say what you want but be honest about it. It is sad to die for opinions that aren’t your own.