Amnesty International is launching a campaign on behalf of a whole new category of prisoners of conscience – internet bloggers and chatroom visitors arrested by repressive governments for expressing unwelcome views or disseminating sensitive information online. The campaign is launched just as the online world prepares to meet at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF, Athens 30/10 – 2/11) to discuss the future of the internet.
Oppressive governments and shameless companies
Amnesty International is calling on governments and companies to ensure that human rights – particularly the rights to freedom of expression, association and the right to privacy – are respected and protected. All the way from China to Iran, people are arrested, abducted and tortured for sharing their thoughts on the Internet. This would not be possible without the help of Internet and computer companies such as Yahoo! and Microsoft. In the name of profits and so-called free trade, these companies are aiding and abetting totalitarian regimes in their oppression of one of the most basic human rights: freedom of speech.
Stand up for your fellow bloggers!
Steve Ballinger, part of Amnesty International’s delegation to the IGF, said:
-Freedom of expression online is a right, not a privilege – but it’s a right that needs defending. We’re asking bloggers worldwide to show their solidarity with web users in countries where they can face jail just for criticising the government.
Ballinger adds that:
– Countries and businesses have failed to respect, protect and promote the rights to freedom of expression, association and privacy, and the rights of human rights defenders.
Amnesty International therefore calls on western bloggers to stand up for the human rights of our fellow bloggers! Read how at irrepressible.info.