"CyberDissidents.org is the leading organization in the world principally devoted to online democratic dissidents."
- Kristen Silverberg, former US ambassador to the European Union
Authoritarian leaders are threatened by the power of the internet. It is no surprise that censorship has become one of their main tools of oppression. Websites are routinely shut down throughout the region. Bloggers must often write under pseudonyms to avoid harassment and imprisonment.
But the internet should be a place of free speech, regardless of political, religious or social orientation. The right to express ones opinion is among our most basic rights. Censorship is completely at odds with the promotion of dignity, democracy and equality.
Regimes which censor the internet are also trying to censor their citizens’ thoughts. The Soviet Union once carefully controlled their press and barred any criticism of the government. But this could only work for so long. Man’s desire for freedom is simply too great. So too will it be with Middle Eastern dictatorships that struggle mightily to censor the internet.
Cyberdissidents.org reports on internet censorship and works to lift the ban on websites advocating freedom and dissent.
Displaying Articles 1-5 of 19.
Thu Apr 25 2013
Saudi authorities continue to hint at a willingness to restrict or even ban the social media site so many activists rely on. Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, said on March 23rd that twitter has become “a gathering place for every clown and corrupter who post tweets that are illegitimate, false and wrong.” His remarks are part of a string of statements that...
Fri Mar 22 2013
The Kuwaiti Court of Appeals handed down a five year sentence with hard labor to blogger Bader Al Rashidi, Thursday, March 21st, for allegedly insulting the Emir on his Twitter account. Lately, the incredible explosion of Twitter in the Gulf region has been overshadowed by a steady stream of cases where outspoken bloggers have been jailed for 140-character comments. Over the past few years, Al...
Thu Mar 21 2013
According to RSS users, the death of google reader eliminates one method used to circumvent internet censorship in closed societies, reports Solmaz Sharif, Iran Program Director. Writing in the International Business Times, Sharif reported that, while states like Belarus or Iran can block direct access to blogs and news websites, Google Reader is integrated with user's email, avoiding the...
Mon Mar 18 2013
Saudi Bahia Sulaiman Al Rashoodi has been sentenced to four months in prison for calling for the release of her father, Sulaiman al Rashoodi, who has been detained since 2011. Former judge and president of the Saudi Association of Civil and Political Rights (ACPRA), the 76-year old Sulaiman, was most recently detained in 2007 and later convicted in 2011 for attempting to establish a human rights...
By: Solmaz Sharif
Thu Feb 28 2013
Thu Feb 28 2013
In 2008, in the midst of writing about a new law concerning Iranian women requiring a male guardian’s permission to leave the country, I stopped for a moment, closed my eyes and listened to my surroundings. The fast, mechanical sounds of typing took me back to the newsrooms in Iran before I left in 2006. A voice startled me from my reverie and returned me to my small living room that I...