[QODLink]
Middle East
Bahrain added to web censorship blacklist
Belarus also a new entry on annual "enemies of the internet" list, while Libya praised for ending "era of censorship".
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2012 11:39
Reporters Without Borders said Bahrain "bolstered its censorship efforts" after the start of the uprising last year.

Reporters Without Borders has updated its 2012 "Enemies of the Internet " list to include Bahrain and Belarus.

The updated list, which was released on Monday to mark what the organisation called "World Day Against Cyber-Censorship", still includes countries such as China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia from the previous year.

The Paris-based non-governmental organisation that advocates freedom of the press said that internet users in 2011 were "at the heart of the political changes in the Arab world and elsewhere".

In Bahrain, RWB said, the government "has bolstered its censorship efforts" in reaction to the pro-democracy uprising that began on February 14, 2011.

"Bahrain offers a perfect example of successful crackdowns, with an information blackout achieved through an impressive arsenal of repressive measures: exclusion of the foreign media, harassment of human rights defenders, arrests of bloggers and netizens (one of whom died behind bars), prosecutions and defamation campaigns against free expression activists, disruption of communications," the report said.

In Belarus, RWB said, "The Internet – a mobilisation and information platform – has received the full brunt of the authorities’ brutal crackdown on the opposition."

The report continued that "some 100 Belarusian journalists were interrogated in 2011 alone, and over 30 given prison terms".

Libya, where the government of Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in a violent revolt, was removed from the list of "countries under surveillance".

"In Libya, many challenges remain but the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime has ended an era of censorship," the report said.

Venezuela was also removed from that list, whereas India and Kazakhstan were added to it.

"On World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, we pay tribute to the ordinary citizens who often risk their lives or their freedom to keep us informed and to ensure that often brutal crackdowns do not take place without the outside world knowing," RWB said.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
join our mailing list