Online demonstration against internet censorship
Reporters Without Borders is calling for an online demonstration against internet censorship today, on Wednesday 12 March, which it calls the first "international day for freedom of speech on the internet". Visitors to the organisation's web site can make a 24-hour virtual protest on the Square of Heavenly Peace in Peking against censorship of the World Wide Web. They can create their own virtual figure there and take part in one of the nine online demonstrations. Flash animated online banners can be obtained and be incorporated into their own web sites.
The demo begins at 10am GMT. Besides China, virtual demonstrations are being held in Cuba, Egypt, Burma, Eritrea, North Korea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. Reporters Without Borders says that the freedom of people to express their own opinions on the internet, or even to access the internet, is severely restricted in those countries. The organisation also points out that 63 internet dissidents are currently being held in prison around the world, 49 of them in China.
Reporters Without Borders says it has inaugurated this day under the patronage of UNESCO. The organisation also intends to publish an up-to-date list of the "enemies of the internet", as well as a new edition of its handbook for bloggers and internet dissidents.