I did a post previously over at the Afrospear on cyber-activism. I wanted to raise the issue of the real and perceived dangers associated with blogging about topics that may catch the attention of government agencies, primarily in the “West”. For me this discussion was primarily an intellectual exercise. Here is an email I received from a fellow AfroSpear member from a country in Africa:
“Bloggers are not exactly appericiated in my part of the world so I was hoping to remain anonymous. When I first started blogging, I didn’t think that my identity will be a problem but in in 2006, some bloggers were jailed in Egypt. My blog is usually random, sometimes political but I never directly criticize governments however, there is more censorship now and after some long conversations with concerned friends and family members, I decided to stick to “kizzie” and never mention my real name n personal information.”
This is indeed troubling. In this age where reaching out to others around the world through cyberspace can happen in a matter of seconds…. of sharing ideas, exchanging information…. which can have the effect of bringing power to truth…. the pen (keyboard) is certainly mightier than the sword (gun) in moving and changing people…. in inspiring the masses…. (here is an interesting post from Field Negro on the “keyboard revolution”) So yes, governments are fearful. Some more than others. Hence the threat to life in some parts of the world for engaging in this activity.
The above email has given me cause to reflect…. not so much on how good I have it here in Canada…. the non-existent possibility of arrest, torture or other physical reprecussions for blogging on political and social topics…. but on my responsibility to write what I “feel” concerning what I “see” and understand about issues, that others may not or cannot do.
May Allah keep you and your family safe ”Kizzie”.