Martyrs of the web

Amnesty launches a campaign to free the bloggers jailed for telling the truth about repressive regimes


CHINA

Published state secrets

Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison after "illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities".

His crime was to have e-mailed details of the Chinese government's plans to handle news coverage of the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2004. Yahoo! provided crucial information in the case, linking the message and e-mail account with Shi 's computer. Reporters Without Borders accused Yahoo! of acting as a "police informant".

IRAN

Revealed arrest of dissidents

Kianoosh Sanjari was arrested on 7 October. The charges and his whereabouts are unknown. Mr Sanjari's blog gave information sympathetic to the Shia cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi and his supporters. Up to the day of his arrest, he was providing details of the arrest of other dissidents and their detention at the notorious Evin prison.

Amnesty says he is being held incommunicado and is at risk of being tortured.

TUNISIA

Exposed state torture

Mohammed Abbou was sentenced in 2005 to four years in prison for assaulting a colleague at a lawyers' conference (a questionable charge) and for "having published information that would disturb public order".

Human rights activists believe Mr Abbou's real crime was to have posted a series of online articles denouncing the torture of political prisoners in Tunisia and comparing Tunisia's President, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, to Israel's then prime minister Ariel Sharon.

VIETNAM

Denounced corruption by officials

Nguyen Vu Binh was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years' house arrest for "spying".

Mr Vu Binh wrote several online articles calling for greater political and economic freedoms, denouncing official corruption and calling for the establishment of a liberal democratic political party. He was called "reactionary" at his trial.

Reporters Without Borders says that Vietnam is second only to China in cracking down on internet freedom of expression.

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