An international human rights charity was today appealing to campaigners in Birmingham to add their names to an online pledge calling for worldwide internet freedom.
To mark its 45th anniversary this week the human rights membership organisation Amnesty International is asking people to join its campaign to end the persecution of internet users and web censorship.
In countries with repressive regimes, such as China, Iran, Myanmar, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Syria and Vietnam, internet cafes are shut down, computers seized, chat rooms monitored, and blogs deleted. Websites deemed subversive are blocked or heavily censored, search engines are restricted and foreign news is prohibited.
The Birmingham branch of the charity is urging people to visit the campaign website - www.irrepressible.info - and sign the pledge.
The website also lists cases where people have been imprisoned for what they have written in emails or on websites and highlights the role of companies who have helped countries like China to censor the web.
Visitors to the site are asked to send an e-postcard to the Chinese authorities and to internet giant Yahoo calling for the release of journalist Shi Tao, who is serving 10 years in prison for sending an email to a pro-democracy website.
Simon Ware, group secretary of Central Birmingham Amnesty International, said: "The internet has become a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. A lot of has changed in 45 years, but some governments are still repressing their citizens, and Amnesty is still standing up against them."