MEPs Name Belarus Second-Worst Country Of Internet Censorship After China

2006 2006-07-11T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the resolution adopted last week members of European Parliament condemn those authoritarian regimes that limit freedom of opinion in Internet and demand from EU leadership to pay attention to the possibility of free access to Internet for citizens of countries under authoritarian rule.
Internet became an essential channel of delivering free opinions for political dissidents, democratic activists and journalist around the world. Simultaneously the control over Internet from the side of authoritarian regimes grows. Post-Soviet Uzbekistan and Belarus belong to the countries with the worst censorship in Internet, Belarus occupies second place in the list after China.
EU should take concrete steps to protect freedom of speech in Internet for the citizens of those countries where fundamental human rights are violated, says the resolution.
Speaking with Radio Liberty Elizabeth Schrodter, MEP, says: “It is not enough what we did for Belarus before. We have intention to do more, especially in the field relating to access of citizens to alternative information. The people should have opportunity to form their opinion about the situation in the country themselves and not through pro-presidential media.”
According to MEP her colleagues addressed leadership of EU with a request to expand independent broadcasting on Belarus and this proposal was understood by EU leaders.
European human right journalist organization “Reporters without borders” stated about their support of EU resolution and expressed its hope that European Commission and member countries will follow recommendations of MEPs. Some time ago “Reporters without borders” sent to European Parliament the list of 15 countries – “enemies of Internet” (China, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Belarus). The corresponding statement about support freedom of speech in Internet was also signed by 32 big companies.

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