Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Bloggers arrested

An article on the guardian.co.uk site today should be of concern to bloggers. You can read it here. The most dangerous countries for bloggers are China, Egypt and Burma and the annual World Information Access report shows that 36 people were arrested worldwide in 2007 as a result of their blogging. This is probably an underestimate. For those subsequently imprisoned the average sentence was 15 months.

While I am wary of advocating complete freedom of speech on the Internet - there are a few unpleasant characters out there - I think we should support fellow bloggers who oppose repressive regimes in their countries, or who just want to express themselves and their ideas in ways which we take for granted.

Sometimes I feel it can get too comfortable writing about gardening and food from the safety of a western European country.

The website Blogger for Freedom here has campaigned for freedom, human and civil rights all over the world and, although it has now closed, the archive remains and it's a good source of information on what's going on in different countries and what is happening to some of our fellow bloggers.

Global Voices Advocacy is another website which states that it is 'dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online' and monitors censorship on the net. Their Access Denied map, which you can see here, shows where bloggers and internet users are restricted across the world.

1 comment:

Kate said...

This is an eye-openning post, c-l. Thanks. We are so lucky in so many ways...I never case to be grateful for so much freedom and affluence compared with so, so many.