In April, writer Nay Phone Latt won the 2010 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith “Freedom to Write” award. The award honors world renowned literary figures. (Figures who have been persecuted and imprisoned for defending “freedom of expression”) Unfortunately, Nay Phone Latt was not there to receive the award. The Burmese poet and human rights advocate was in Mynamar, serving a 12-year prison sentence for distributing news and views via his blog.
Iran is not the only country these events have been taking place in. Egypt has also imprisoned prominent bloggers. Saudi Arabia’s most popular blogger, Fouad al-Farhan, has been detained for questioning, an Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed. The Saudi government has waged an all-out battle against “Internet treason” for years. In Iraq, 33-year-old Dr. Hanan Al-Mashhadani was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to torture because of her writing on a blog. Her charges revolved around some comments she made about the countries “terrorism act.”
This happens all over the world on a daily basis. In November, Cuba’s most prominent blogger was abducted by three men. “This arrest was made after our investigations showed that he did certain things which could cause unrest among the citizens of various races in this country.” The evidence strongly suggests that the harassment and persecution of bloggers is increasing all over the world.
A Texas blogger was recently jailed for failing to turn his computer over to a judge. The bloggers
grandmother claims her house was broken into and her computer was seized after the courts received a subpoena. The blogger was eventually jailed. A freelance journalist and blogger was jailed in August in California for refusing to turn over video he took at an anti-capitalist protest last summer and after refusing to testify before a grand jury looking into accusations that crimes were committed at the protest.
The list goes on and on and on. In some countries now they just throw away the jail key. Totalitarian, Authoritarian governments will always try to censor the real news. Don’t let them. (Live like your free)
Activism in The Age of Tyranny and Terror