Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reporters Without Borders Launches "Online Free Expression Day," UNESCO Quits

"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 nine countries that are Internet enemies during the 24 hours from 11 a.m. tomorrow, 12 March, to 11 a.m. on 13 March (Paris time, GMT +1). Anyone with Internet access will be able to create an avatar, choose a message for their banner and take part in one of the cyber-demos taking place in Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, North Korea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

"There are 15 countries in this year’s Reporters Without Borders list of “Internet Enemies” - Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. There were only 13 in 2007. The two new additions to the traditional censors are both to be found in sub-Saharan Africa: Zimbabwe and Ethiopia."

But UNESCO is all of a sudden withdrawing its patronage, offering the fuzzy explanation that Reporters Without Borders "published material concerning a number of UNESCO’s Member States, which UNESCO, had not been informed of and could not endorse."

Says Reporters Without Borders: "We are not fooled. Several governments on today’s updated list of 15 ‘Internet Enemies’ put direct pressure on the office of the UNESCO director general, and deputy director general Marcio Barbosa caved in. . .UNESCO’s grovelling shows the importance of Online Free Expression Day and the need to protest against governments that censor."

Not coincidentally, just while all this was happening Iran's Science and Technology Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi challenged UNESCO to take action in the matter of several European newspapers that have recently published those recurring Mohammed Cartoons. Zahedi chalked up the publication of the cartoons as "ignorance of correct cultural and religious values in the multifaceted world of today."

Meanwhile, in Havana, the government-run press is pleased, calling Reporters Without Borders "a court of inquisition against developing nations" and a CIA front group besides - citing as their authority the Canadian journalist (and Havana propagandist) Jean-Guy Allard, who also says the JFK assassination was a plot that somehow implicates both the father of the current occupant of the White House and the father of actor Woody Harrelson, or something like that.

8 Comments:

Blogger Ian King said...

It's shit like this that makes me want to double up on John Bolton's quip about how you could blow off the top ten floors of UN headquarters and it wouldn't make a difference. Is there any rational explanation (as opposed to an inquiry into pathology) to explain the hard-on so many soi-disant leftists have for the damned UN?

12:08 AM  
Blogger bp said...

Cuba responds to any group who challenges them at the UN as being funded by the CIA and/or Mossad. I loved their response to UN Watch a few months ago, after a speech by their (Canadian) director to the Human Rights Council.

3:34 AM  
Blogger RightGirl said...

Oh, and don't forget Canada. We don't have internet freedom here, either!

RG

7:32 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

put Israael on that Reporters without Borders list and those UNESCO funds would be freed up in a flash.

2:32 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Last month my son was at a local job interview at which he was asked what he would do if he was in charge of the UN. I think he must have disappointed the man because he answered promptly that he'd disband it. Quick on his feet, my son, if not politically correct for the inquisitor who likely expected the stock Miss Universe response that "I would change the world."
So, instead he's doing his medical residency in Ontario. At least he's got his sense of humour intact.

9:12 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:33 AM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yep - Cubans will know all there is about Reporters Without Borders being a CIA/Mossad/MI5 front. After all RWB were very consistent keeping Cuba at the bottom of the list where journalistic freedom is concerned.

And re UNESCO - aw, come on...

8:50 AM  

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