Amnesty International calls for bloggers to stand up for freedom

By Derek Sooman on
Amnesty International is appealing to Internet bloggers and other citizens of Cyberspace to stand up for freedom of expression on the Net. The organisation claims that fundamental human rights are at this time in danger, where governments seek to control what their citizens say, and what information they can access. Soon, an Internet Governance Forum is to be held which will discuss the future of the Internet and citizen's role in it. Amnesty believes that it is paramount to place human rights (such as free speech) right at the heart of these discussions.

Amnesty is currently offering special code tools to raise awareness about bloggers around the world who are censored or imprisoned for their writing. JavaScript has been created which can display content from a database of censored Web sites and blogs. An API can also let applications use the database's content, along with an RSS feed.

Amnesty is also currently involved in an appeal on behalf of a blogger in Iran who was detained earlier this month while reporting on clashes between security forces and supporters of Shi'a cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi. Amnesty say that they fear for the safety of Kianoosh Sanjari and that he may be tortured.

"Freedom of expression online is a right, not a privilege but its a right that needs defending. Were asking bloggers worldwide to show their solidarity with web users in countries where they can face jail just for criticising the government."

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