Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why do I Support Wikileaks? Because I live in Africa!

It'd be very naive on the part of anybody to wholeheartedly believe in Wikileaks. I personally have a small voice in my head that keeps asking if I'm sure the organization is not some CIA or Mossad game. That notwithstanding however, I am a full supporter of the organisation and its activities.

Living on a continent with such a chequered history of very repressive governments, I am fully aware of the importance of access to information by the everyday people. What Wikileaks has set out to do is simply be the bridge between those who cannot stand evil and want the information out and those who need to know. 

In any civilised society, access to information is necessarily a prerequisite for demanding accountability from elected officials. Then too the actions and words of people in their capacity as elected officers or public servants should be no secret whatsoever. For society to thrive, the people should not be left in darkness by their employees.

For some of us, the web has been the biggest blessing to have befallen us as Africans. Without access to mainstream media, it remains the only way via which we can make our voices heard and demand accountability from our governments. It remains the last neutral ground that has escaped the tentacles of censorship that seems to be second nature to some African leaders

What I've seen in the last few days in the reactions to Wikileaks however, does not bode well for the future of young Africans like myself who turn to the web as our amplifiers. With the precedent of persecutions against the organization being set by the USA and its boot-licking allies in repression, it's not difficult to see the path being blazed for future repression of people by their leaders both here in Africa and other parts of the world.

If the government can coerce private businesses to not do business with an organization that it disagrees with, and actually go as far as publicly call for the assassination of its leader, then I wonder what the future of the concept of free speech will be like. The internet under no circumstance, should be allowed to be monopolized by any single entity, be it the US government or the Chinese government.

The world cannot on the one hand be doling out awards like biscuits to so called Chinese dissidents because they openly criticise or say things that their government disagrees with and on the other hand persecute the Wikileaks organisation and its founder. This is an absurd hypocrisy at its zenith.

I don't support Wikileaks for what information they are releasing per se as I do them because the silence of we the masses will mean our agreement with governments' desire to censor the web. The tentacle of censorship that the USA has become so accustomed to should be condemned in no uncertain terms.The web as a medium of access to information and free speech, should not be hijacked by any one party. 

What the USA and its allies in repression are doing in the wake of this Wikileaks brouhaha is only strengthening the resolve of dictators on this continent who have basically taken out any form of opposition mainstream media to start persecuting big mouthed young Africans like myself who demand accountability from our governments. Stop the persecution of Wikileaks! Keep the internet open and free for all!!

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By Seraaj Muneer with 3 comments

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