Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Blogging for Democracy

In much of the Arab World the media is state-controlled and has its hands tied by despotic government. Bloggers, by contrast, have stepped into the fray as the indymedia of the Middle East and it is they who are opening up debate and proposing reforms. However, internet freedom is now being severely curtailed and - as Sandmonkey said in his final post (due to police harassment he has now had to quit because of fears for his personal safety) :
"Bloggers have been intimidated by the authorities in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Bahrain, just to name a few. It seems like the period of hope and reform that the bloggers of those countries have pushed for and represented in the past 2 years is now coming to an end, with the authorities more and more focused and intent on shutting us up, using everything from intimidation to imprisonment. And we have no defenders, no one to protect us, or champion our causes or lobby for our rights and safety. There used to be the Committee to Protect Bloggers, but that went defunct due to lack of funding, its media-pressure- only strategy and wide scope".
He proposes a coalition of bloggers, mainstream media, human rights organisations, thinktanks, and, of course, politicians and their staff, to campaign for freedom of speech in the Arab World - and for bloggers wherever they may be - and pressurise repressive governments into halting their unjustified arrest and imprisonment.

If you think you could contribute, contact him at I know that many of my political friends should have at least some decent contacts to make this initiative work.

No comments: