"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 31.
Tue Dec 3 2013
Over the past few months, several hackers have targeted Advancing Human Rights' websites. Days ago one of our divisions, CyberDissidents.org, was attacked and briefly taken down. Though we quickly restored the site, it is clear that not everyone is a fan of our work. Despite these repeated attempts to silence our organization, Advancing Human Rights remains committed to amplifying the voices of...
Fri Nov 22 2013
Kuwaiti blogger, Musab Shamsah was sentenced to five years in prison, November 18th, for commenting about Sunni/Shia theology on his Twitter account. This is Shamsah’s second sentence in a few months for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. In May, Shamsah was sentenced to a year in prison, as a cause of opining about the theological role of Muslim imams. The Kuwaiti penal code prohibits mocking...
Thu Nov 14 2013
On the evening of November 10th, Palestinian police forces in Bethlehem arrested Radio Bethlehem 2000’s Director, George Canawati, on charges of slandering and offending the commander of Bethlehem’s police force, Omar Shalabi, on his weekly radio program. Canawati appeared in court Monday, visibly battered with a black eye and torn shirt, announcing he had gone on a hunger-strike in protest...
Tue Nov 12 2013
Saudi Twitter activists created a new hashtag #العدل_تحاكم_المحامين_المغردين which translates as “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice is suing the Tweeters.” It was coined after three lawyers: Abdulrahman al-Rumaih, Abdulrahman al-Sobaihi and Bander al-Nogaithan were sued by the Ministery of Justice for tweeting and posting cartoons that were critical of...
Tue Oct 29 2013
After a year and eight months, Saudi poet and former columnist, Hamza Kashgari was released from prison. In 2011, Kashgari was the subject of great controversy after he was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammed in three short messages he posted to his Twitter account. Kashgari posted an imaginary dialogue with the Prophet, a portion of which said: “On your birthday, I shall not bow to you....