Amnesty International hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab spring ‘catalysts’

The Guardian reports:

The world faces a watershed moment in human rights with tyrants and despots coming under increasing pressure from the internet, social networking sites and the activities of WikiLeaks, Amnesty International says in its annual roundup.

The rights group singles out WikiLeaks and the newspapers that pored over its previously confidential government files, among them the Guardian, as a catalyst in a series of uprisings against repressive regimes, notably the overthrow of Tunisia’s long-serving president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

“The year 2010 may well be remembered as a watershed year when activists and journalists used new technology to speak truth to power and, in so doing, pushed for greater respect for human rights,” Amnesty’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, says in an introduction to the document. “It is also the year when repressive governments faced the real possibility that their days were numbered.”

But, Shetty adds, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, and elsewhere, remains unpredictable: “There is a serious fightback from the forces of repression. The international community must seize the opportunity for change and ensure that 2011 is not a false dawn for human rights.”

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1 thought on “Amnesty International hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab spring ‘catalysts’

  1. Christopher Hoare

    Half a Utopia.

    With the African autocrats trying to save Qaddhafi; the West and Israel longing for a new Mubarak in Egypt; Assad daring the world community to oppose his policy of murdering dissenters; the tin-pot king of Bahrain held up by Saudi Arabia and the US; and the CIA and Saudi still underpinning the murderous regime in Yemen the prospects for real revolutions this year is growing slimmer. But 2011 is only one year, with friends like Wikileaks and Amnesty International the cause of freedom and justice will not go completely away.

    What can we do to help keep the flame alive? Giving the Department of Justice and Obama a swift kick in the groin to leave Assange alone would be a great help. Americans should be ashamed of an administration still in the forefront of protecting secrecy, secret trials, and the emasculation of free information and free debate by its citizens.

    Let’s build hope for Spring 2012—who knows, the dictators deposed could be ours.

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