The next time you question why you blog, the next time you drag yourself to the computer whining and whingeing, the next time you complain because you haven’t got anything to say, consider this . . .
There are 66 bloggers imprisoned in the world today for political dissidence — 51 of them in China. One investigative blogger, He Weihua, was forced into a mental facility and another man was beaten to death by city officials, known as urban management officers, for recording a violent altercation on his video cell phone.
Jesse Brown from CBC Radio’s Search Engine recently interviewed Watson Meng, who runs Boxun.com, a website that hosts hundreds of blogs by Chinese Nationals and relies on citizen journalism for its news. It is widely read by thousands of Chinese, but is safe from the Chinese government because it is located on American soil. Its bloggers, however, are not safe.
The Chinese government have been taking strong measures to censor bloggers and citizen journalists, says Brown, “and with the upcoming olympics this summer, have issued a law that demands all internet video be state regulated so that it serves socialist ideals of a harmonious society.”
One Boxun blogger was beaten to death after he refused to delete footage he had caught on his cell phone of 40 urban management officers beating up a couple of villagers over waste dumping. He lost consciousness after about five minutes and the officers left him for dead. Meng believes the new law and this blogger’s death are related.
Shocking! That’s all I have to say.