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24-hour online demo against Internet censorship

Reporters Without Borders will launch the first International Online Free Expression Day under UNESCO’s patronage on 12 March, when it will also organise its second “24-hour online demo against Internet censorship,” urging Internet users to come and demonstrate on its website, http://www.rsf.org.

A total of 63 cyber-dissidents are currently in jail worldwide for using their right to free expression on the Internet. China continues to be the world’s biggest prison for online journalists and bloggers.

To denounce government censorship of the Internet and to demand more online freedom, Reporters Without Borders is calling on Internet users to come and protest in online versions of the nine countries that are “Internet enemies” during the 24 hours from 11 a.m. on 12 March to 11 a.m. on 13 March (Paris time). Anyone with Internet access will be able to create an avatar, choose a message for their banner and take part in one of the nine cyber-demos (Burma, China, North Korea, Cyba, Egypt, Erithrea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Viêt-nam).

Reporters Without Borders will release its latest list of “Internet enemies” together with a new version of its Handbook for Cyber-Dissidents.

When the first “24 hours against Internet censorship” was held last year, some 40,000 Internet users came and clicked on an inter-active map of the world to help make the “Internet black holes” disappear. This time we can do even more to make this new protest a success and to put pressure on the governments that try to muzzle what should be space where people can express their views freely.

This operation was devised and produced by the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency. A campaign ad is being circulated online calling on Internet users the world over to come and take part in the 24-hour protest. All news media, websites and blogs that would like to support this major operation are invited to get in touch with Lilia Bouhdjar at +33 (0)1 4483-8456.


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