Reporters Without Borders are to present a major presentation which involves bloggers from less than friendly countries, and the Blog Herald is fully behind it. What follows is their release in full:
Reporters Without Borders presents its delegation of cyber-dissidents and bloggers
Thursday, 17 February 2005, 2 p.m.
Charly’s Multimedia Check Point
Rue de Fribourg 7 – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland
(10 minutes from the Palais des Nations)
UN member states will meet in Geneva from 18 to 25 February to prepare the next World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Reporters Without Borders is concerned that the countries that least respect free expression are playing a dominant role in the preparation of this conference.
The organization has therefore decided to be represented at Geneva by a delegation of Chinese, Iranian, Tunisian and Maldivian cyber-dissidents and bloggers so that they can describe the violations of online free expression that take place in their countries. “We would like to put a face to the repression against Internet users in some of the countries that will be parading at the WSIS, ” the organization said.
The participants at this press conference will be:
– Zouhair Yahyaoui (Tunisia, the country hosting the second stage of the WSIS) was imprisoned from 4 June 2002 to 18 November 2003 for making fun of President Ben Ali on his website, Tunezine.com. He received the Reporters Without Borders Cyber-Freedom Prize in June 2003.
– Ibrahim Lutfy (Maldives) was arrested in January 2002 for helping to produce Sandhaanu, an electronic newsletter about President Gayoom’s human rights violations. He escaped from prison in May 2003 and has since lived in Switzerland, where he has been granted political asylum.
– Cai Chongguo (China), a philosophy professor and political dissident, had to flee his country after the Tiananmen Square massacres. He has been given asylum in France, where he is studying the system of online censorship that has been introduced in China.
– Jay Bakht (Iran) is a founding member of Penlog, a group of Iranian bloggers. He lives in Britain, where he fights for the release of imprisoned bloggers and campaigns against the Iranian government’s Internet filtering policies.
– Julien Pain is the Internet desk officer at Reporters Without Borders.
– George Gordon-Lennox is the Secretary general of Reporters Without Borders’ Swiss section and the official representative of the organization at the UN.
The press conference will be held in an Internet cafÃ© so the cyber-dissidents can support their presentations with concrete examples of censorship.
Please confirm your attendance by contacting:
[email protected] or ++ 33 (0) 1 44 83 84 84