Jailing of Chinese campaigner highlights dangers of web activism

The jailing of Chinese human rights and democracy activist Hu Jia for subversion after posting articles critical of the Chinese regime on the Internet highlights, say campaigners, the increasing dangers facing activists using the net in many countries across the world.

A recent Ecostorm report, The Price of Dissent, disturbingly revealed how campaigners and journalists in, amongst others, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Tunisia and Jordan, face serious persecution for using the net to distribute material deemed as unacceptable by the ruling authorities.

Several pressure groups, including Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty, have launched campaigns dedicated to exposing and tackling the problem.

The news of Hu Jia’s imprisonment for three and a half years comes as a new report by Amnesty International today exposes China’s appalling – and current – human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere in the country. Campaigners are critical of much of the international community – and of the organisers and participants of the forthcoming Olympic Games – for turning a blind eye to the situation as the athletic games approach.

For Reporters Without Borders Internet Enemies campaign, see: http://www.rsf.org

For the Amnesty report on China’s human rights record see: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=17708

Index On Censorship http://www.indexoncensorship.org