World Press (and Pothi) Freedom Index

Press freedom speech propaganda posterAll censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” ― George Bernard Shaw

I generally focus on taking the log out of my own country’s eye before complaining about the specks in the eyes of our neighbors.  Our Founding Fathers were at least kind enough to remove the log from our collective mouth by giving us the 1st Amendment.  Unfortunately, a very personal tragedy has made it brutally clear that the people many other countries do not share that freedom.

Pothi Kalimuthu, the systems administrator for Think by Numbers, has made a lot of sacrifices in his effort to realize a vision of a world without suffering. Pothi was helping to create a platform to integrate all the data from the world’s life-tracking applications and devices to identify hidden root causes and discover new treatments for chronic illnesses inflicting immeasurable pain.

On July 24th, 2014, Pothi disappeared. After being missing for almost two weeks, I discovered that he has been arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Chennai, India. The charge? Hosting Savukku, a non-profit, journalistic website. Savukku was known for whistle-blowing articles on bribery and political corruption.

Please sign our petition and share this message with anyone who appreciates our duty to use our gift of freedom of speech to speak for those who cannot.  If you have a few minutes, please call or email the Madras High Court and tell them to free Pothi Kalimuthu, so that he may continue this important work to help the millions who continue to endure lives characterized by the quiet desperation that is chronic illness. He is our friend, and whether you know it yet or not, he is your friend, too. Thank you for anything you’re willing to do to help him in this difficult and unjust situation.

Please, contact:
Thiru. P. Kalaiyarasan
Registrar General
Madras High Court
Tel : 91 – 044 -25301349
cpc-tn@indianjudiciary.gov.in

and/or 

Indian Embassy
2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 939-7000
Fax: (202) 265-4351

Here’s a template you could use:

I am writing to express my concern for Pothi Kalimuthu.

Pothi has made a lot of sacrifices in his effort to realize a vision of a world without suffering. He was helping to create a platform to integrate all the data from the world’s life-tracking applications and devices to identify hidden root causes and discover new treatments for chronic illnesses inflicting immeasurable pain.

On July 24th, 2014, Pothi was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Chennai.

Please do whatever you can to free Pothi Kalimuthu, so that he may continue this important work to help the millions who continue to endure lives characterized by the quiet desperation that is chronic illness. He is our friend, and whether you know it yet or not, he is your friend, too. Thank you for anything you’re willing to do to help him in this difficult situation.

Respectfully yours,
[YOUR NAME HERE]

Additionally, if you’re aware of any organization that you think might be able to help, please share them in the comments.

Reporters without Borders recognizes that freedom of information is the foundation of any democracy. They are working like hell to provide that foundation to the half of the world’s population that is still denied it.  Here is the data from their 2014 World Press Freedom Index. I encourage everyone to check out their site and get involved.

The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies. Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. Despite occasional turbulence in the past year, these countries continue to be news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them. This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies.

Read more at Reporters without Borders

press freedom index

Download the CSV Spreadsheet

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©2017 Mike P. Sinn

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