Reporters Without Borders has been fighting for more than 25 years so that peopleare not prevented from saying "two plus two equals four," as George Orwell put itin. Fortunately, freedom has heroes who resist at all cost.
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Truth is as hard as a diamond, Gandhi said. Dictators fear truth and reality becausethey shine like a powerful light in the dark. Any deviation from their propagandathreatens their political constructs. Any description of the facts can underminethe oppressive edifice they have built and expose their house of lies, in which theballrooms rest on the cellars in which they try to confine the people.

Between 60 and 100 journalists and as many netizens are killed worldwide eachyear and, at the time of writing, 155 journalists and 130 netizens are in prison. Thisis because truth, as Gandhi added, is also as fragile as a peach blossom. With the helpof jails, laws, scissors and technologicial tools, truth and reality are easily crushedlike petals under a military heel.

Only determined opposition to censorship will permit political, economic andsocial progress in countries throughout the world. Journalists and bloggers werepersecuted in China in 2008 for trying to point out that a popular baby formula wastainted. As a result, hundreds of thousands of babies suffered for the sake of thecountry's image in the short term.

In February 2012 spurious grounds were used in Russia to suppress some reportsabout AIDS. In Cuba a reporter for theparty newspaper Granma was given a 14-year jail sentence at a secret hearing lastsummer for doing his job better than his colleagues.

Reporters Without Borders has been fighting for more than 25 years so that peopleare not prevented from saying "two plus two equals four," as George Orwell put itin Nineteen Eighty-Four. Fortunately, freedom has heroes who resist at all cost. Chinese dissidents,bloggers in Iran and Cuba, journalists in Africa and Central Asia make up a planetaryarmy whose only arms are their computers, their cameras and sometimes just theirpens.

But their courage is not always enough to pierce the great walls of censorship. Thisis why Reporters Without Borders has decided to provide them with a website,WeFightCensorship, for posting content that has been censored or banned or hasgiven rise to reprisals against the content creator.

A deterrent based on what is called the "Streisand effect," WeFightCensorship aimsto make censorship obsolete, to show that jailing a content creator, seizing copies ofa newspaper or blocking acess to a video website will not prevent the content fromgoing around the world and, on the contrary, will just encourage its dissemination.The message is clear for every kind of despot: The more you tried to suppress thetruth, the more WeFightCensorship and its mirror sites will ensure that it circulates.

Only real freedom of information allows us to verify that the other freedoms arebeing respected. Only freedom of information allows diverging interests to beexpressed -- democracy -- and prevents certain segments of society or entirehuman groups from being forgotten. Amartya Sen, a winner of the Nobel Prize inEconomics, said that famines only happen when the people concerned are unable toexpress their needs.

To report news and information is to fight for a vision of humanity, for the principlethat human beings have the right not to be crushed by propaganda. The Homosapiens in Plato's cave evolve into modern human beings when they are no longer satisfiedwith the shadows. Nearly one half of humankind still lacks access to freely reportednews and information at the start of the 21st century. Deprived of the basic lucidityneeded to run their lives, dependent like children who are told fairy tales, billions ofpeople are stripped of their existence.

Under a regime of propaganda, lies and concealment, whether brutal or soft, you canat best walk, but you are not free to choose the road you take. You think you haveemerged from the cave, but you have entered a tunel. WeFightCensorship is nowshowing the way out.

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