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[liberationtech] Hopefully the new year will bring better news...

Yosem Companys ycompanys at
Fri Jan 1 11:03:18 PST 2010

Imprisoned, Attacked & Dead Bloggers Increases Worldwide in

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:30 PM PST

[image: prisonblogger_1209.jpg]According to a report released
by Reporters Sans Frontières, the number of bloggers around the world
arrested because of their online work jumped from 59 to 151 between 2008 and
2009, an increase of 155%. Additionally, one blogger died in prison and 61
were physically assaulted. The most infamous cases perhaps occurred during
the violent unrest in Iran following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed
reelection. But RSF said the number of overall arrests and attacks can
actually be traced to crackdowns in at least 10 countries.

"The number of countries affected by online censorship has doubled from one
year to the next - a disturbing tendency that shows an increase in control
over new media as millions of netizens get active online," said Lucie
Morillon, head of the group's Internet and Freedoms Desk.


[image: prisonbloggerchart_1209.jpg]

The report is a profoundly depressing read. As tech journalists writing from
the soft comfort of our homes, it's easy to forget that in many places of
the world, the simple act of posting something to a blog has lethal

Elections, politics and the economy were the primary reasons bloggers ended
up in jail. While China is the worst, Iran, Tunisia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia,
Vietnam and Uzbekistan also frequently monitor or block websites and blogs.

>From the report:

"Two Azerbaijani bloggers, who were sentenced to two years in prison for
making a film mocking the political elite.The Turkmen Internet remains under
total state control. Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer is still in jail, while
the famous Burmese comedian Zarganar still has 34 years of his prison
sentence to serve. Victims of Internet policing also include such leading
figures in the defence of online free expression as China's Hu Jia and Liu
Xiaobo and Vietnam's Nguyen Trung and Dieu Cay.

"In South Korea, a blogger was wrongfully detained for commenting on the
country's disastrous economic situation. Around six netizens in Thailand
were arrested or harassed just for making a connection between the king's
health and a fall in the Bangkok stock exchange."

In March, Reporters Sans Frontières will launch what it's calling the
Enemies of the Internet campaign to highlight the countries affected by
online intimidation and censorship.

*Photo by Amir Darafsheh, Tehran, Iran <>.*
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