Bloggers Unite For Human Rights On May 15

Shi Tao - Yahoo! I'm in jailImage by King Dumb via Flickr

Every once in a while I diverge from the New York Mets. This is one of those posts. BlogCatalog is coordinating today as an awareness day of human rights issues.

While we’re enjoying the Mets games (usually) there are people in parts of the world that are unable to enjoy the same freedoms that we have in the US. When I was asked to participate in this action I did some reading at the links that BlogCatalog sent to me. I was particularly moved by Shi Tao’s story. Shi is serving a ten year prison sentence in China for divulging state secrets to foreign entities by sending an email.

Shi is a Chinese journalist and democracy advocate. The government warned journalists not to provoke civil unrest during the June 4th anniversary of the Tianenmen crackdown. Shi sent an email to a source in the US explaining the government directive. The Chinese government became aware of the email but didn’t know who sent it. They contacted Yahoo asking for the name of the person that has the email account that sent the email. Yahoo complied by giving account information to the government. The result was a 10 year prison sentence for Shi.

Obviously, it appears that Yahoo sacrificed Shi to maintain their business interests in China. It’s also a reminder to us that all people aren’t free to speak their minds like we are.

If Shi’s story moves you as well. Do some research and get involved in whatever way you see fit.

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About Dave Doyle

Although I don’t have a degree in journalism, I love writing about the New York Mets. I’m the typical writer without access. My only accessibility to the Mets is sitting in the stands (often the upper tank) and watching on TV like most fans. I’m not a member of the media, just a fan expressing opinions.