Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

There are few countries that take to heart free speech as much as we do here in the United States.  While some in the US may have problems with the political bias laced in television and radio news, we still cannot deny that we are free to say what we want: pro-government, anti-government, pro-Obama, anti-Obama, liberal, conservative — anything goes.  However, this luxury is not so prevalent in countries where the media is filtered by the government, making sure that anything “offensive” or harmful to the “stability” of the government is censored or whitewashed.

Iran, a country that continues defying the world with its controversial nuclear program, will someday have to answer for its numerous human rights violations following its 2009 Presidential Election.  Nearly 4,000 people have been arrested since June, but one of the real concerns is the abuse prisoners face by the police and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.  Our concern is over the rape scenarios female prisoners are subjugated to by the jailers and other authorities.  Many of these accusations have been made against the government, amidst the turmoil of the election that is widely-believed to have been stolen by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ali Larijani, the Iranian parlamentary speaker, has spoken out against these claims, calling them “baseless”.

The swift denial is likely an effort by hard-liners to discredit allegations of widespread prisoner mistreatment that have helped fuel continued protest by reformists who claim President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole the June election.

Continue reading this story here (Jerusalem Post).

How does one prove that the jailers and other authorities haven’t been beating and raping its captors?  You can’t.  Often criticized for its ironclad censorship and whitewashing, the Iranian authorities censor out anything they deem offensive or critical of the government.  Trying to appeal to the authorities?  Get in line with the other suppressed.

China is another country often blamed for censorship and human rights violations.  Beijing is currently (or at least should be more) in hot water because of its “black jails” — black holes where innocent people are unjustly imprisoned and must be censored.  A twenty-year-old Chinese student found herself in one of these black jails when she tried to petition to the government in regards to dispute over grades at school.

But shortly after the student arrived, she was picked up by police. She was delivered to a run-down hotel and dumped in a locked room filled with other detainees. There, a guard raped her.

Read the rest of this story here (MSNBC).

Because these black jails are secret and censorship is key for “stability” in the Republic of China, there is no real way to confront this issue.  This government, like Iran’s, will deny it no matter what so as to keep its public image clean.  Though countries like China and Iran will continually deny any accusations of wrongdoing by its government or its prisons, the rest of the world can see through its lies.  Freedom of speech and unrestricted internet access keep us enlightened, if not skeptical of the human rights in hard-line regimes.


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