Free Together

Free Speech Online Campaign

Roxana Saberi, from Fargo, North Dakota, is spending her birthday in Tehran’s Evin Prison, starving. She’s on a hunger strike. Around the world, people continue to face similar violations of their rights to freedom of expression, free speech, and a free press.

As Scott Simon at NPR so beautifully stated, “This may seem a bad week for Americans to reproach others about prison conditions. But the release of records and investigations into interrogations reminds us of the opportunity Americans have to live where harsh facts can be widely reported.”
Freedom of the press is not a luxury.  It lies at the heart of making this world healthier and more just. People without a voice cannot hope for equitable growth and meaningful change. As a physician who cares for the homeless, the lack of a “voice” is not a abstract issue for my patients, but a very real, day-to-day one. That’s why you see so many scrawled cardboard signs, or hear shouted requests from streetcorners, or walk past the endlessly droning “change? got some change? can you spare some change?” Whether we like the sound, the words, or the emotion, every human deserves and needs a voice.
Let’s show the international community that we won’t be silenced by intimidation and tyranny  – that we won’t stop believing in and fighting for these rights. A group of bloggers is holding a blog rally in support of journalists, bloggers, students, and writers who have dared to express their thoughts freely only to be imprisoned, abused, or killed.

Please consider “wearing” a blue ribbon online this week on your blogs, websites, and facebook / myspace / twitter pages, and invite others to do the same.  Get the discussion going, and keep it going!
Articles of interest:
“Birthday Wishes for Imprisoned Journalist Saberi” @ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103490676
“Mir-Sayafi:  Iranian Bloggers Writings Bring Him to Life” @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/20/mir-sayafi-iranian-blogge_n_177553.html
“Iran’s Evin Prison Likened to Torture Chamber” @ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12091966

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