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Reporters Without Borders calls for online demonstration: for Press Freedom


In this way, this NGO has declared 12th March 2008 as the first International Online Free Expression Day.

Reporters Without Borders' main aim is to denounce government censorship and to demand more online freedom. During 24 hours, from 11 a.m. on 12th March to 11 a.m. on 13th March (CET —Central European Time— GMT +1), Internet users may create an avatar, choose a message for their banners and take part in one of the cyber-demos taking place in Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

Reporters Without Borders’ latest list of “Internet enemies” includes fifteen countries now: Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. There were only 13 countries in 2007; however, two new additions to the traditional censors are to be found in sub-Saharan Africa: Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

There is also a supplementary list of 11 “countries under watch”. They are: Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Eritrea, Gambia, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand and Yemen.

In their report, Reporters Without Borders adds that “it is not at all surprising as these regimes regularly hound the traditional media. In these countries, Internet penetration is very slight, but nevertheless sufficient to give them a few nightmares. They follow the example of their seniors and draw on the full arsenal of online censorship methods including legislation, monitoring Internet cafés and controlling ISPs...”

Finally, an updated version of the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents is available in French and English on the Reporters Without Borders website (www.rsf.org). This Handbook offers practical advice and techniques on how to start up a blog, how to blog for anonymously and how to circumvent censorship.

More about: internet , ong , freedom , demonstration
Translation by Pamela Gulijczuk
on 25/03/2008
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