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Asia-pacific

Online mobilisation for political prisoners in Burma

Latest update : 2009-03-19

In this edition: online mobilisation for the freeing of political prisoners in Burma; Egyptian cyber-dissidents call for a general strike on April 6; and favelas in Rio de Janeiro get access to the wireless Internet.

POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BURMA

 

In Burma, five supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been arrested the day after a damming report from the UN came out on the situation of human rights in the country. This relaunched mobilization on the net to free political prisoners held by Burma's military regime.

 

This site, which lists 2,100 prisoners of consciousness in Burma, posted witness accounts of former prisoners. They talk of prison conditions where resorting to torture is commonplace.

 
 

The fate reserved by the regime for political prisoners is particularly disturbing. In this video posted online, democratic activists gather to pray for the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has not been free in 19 years.

 
 
 

A situation which urges this other activist to launch this on-line appeal for the international community to show determination against the military junta that plan to stay in power after the elections due in 2010.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8YizatFTn8

 
 

EGYPTIAN ACTIVISTS CALL FOR A GENERAL STRIKE

 

In Egypt, net users call people to strike on April 6, one year after significant demonstrations which degenerated into clashes with police.

 

An appeal widely relayed on this Facebook group, which lists over 70,000 members, who urge strikers to stay at home, rather than to go into the streets.

 
 

And via these videos relayed on YouTube, activists criticise the sharp rise in prices, the scarcity of bread, continued unemployment, and accuse the government of not fulfilling its promises.

 
 

This dispute is also expressed via a wide network of blogs. This net user, for example, does not hesitate to publish articles, censored in the press, to echo workers' demands.

 
 

But these activities are closely watched by the authorities and numerous bloggers have been arrested in recent months. The case, for example, of Kareem Amer, given a four-years' prison sentence last year, having insulted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak via his blog.

 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyVLqd2HBbY

 

 

WIRELESS IN THE FAVELAS
 

In Brazil, the authorities are installing Wi-Fi aerials so that inhabitants of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro can benefit free of charge from wireless Internet. Although a state aid program allowed many homes to get a computer, many have no means of getting a network connection. A project which aims to close the digital divide amongst Cariocas.

 

http://www.orladigital.coppe.ufrj.br/

 
GOOGLE MARS
 
 

After Google Earth, here is Google Mars, a service which will give you the possibility to set off and discover the red planet. Two satellites placed in orbit around Mars will let you make a virtual flight over its surface, and investigate the biggest canyon of the solar system, and why not start a search for extra-terrestrial forms of life?

 
 

 

Date created : 2009-03-19

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