It can often seem hard enough for us, living in a free and democratic country, to overcome the obstacles to writing a blog post, making a film, publishing a book, or kick-starting a campaign. We are inundated with reasons not to do something; what about the competition, will people laugh at me, will I get paid, do
I have the time?Â So, how about doing those things in a country where your blog, film, book, or campaign could get you imprisoned, tortured, or killed? Would you stay quiet?
There are writers, filmmakers, artists, and campaigners whose daily fight is not to muster up the energy or willpower to put their ideas into motion, but to simply survive. For these individuals, their message is so important that they are willing to risk everything. We
can easily take for granted our freedom of expression â€“ our right, broadly speaking, to capture and publicly document our stories. For those living under authoritarian regimes these decisions cannot be taken so lightly.
The stories of bloggers facing house arrest in China, journalists killed in Russia, poets tortured in Bahrain, and filmmakers imprisoned in Iran should inspire us to follow through with our own goals. We can stand in solidarity with those who risk their lives, by not allowing our own opportunities to slip by on account of our insecurities or time constraints. You can also join the fight to give a voice to the millions who are currently silenced by the threat of violence or imprisonment. Below are just a few organizations working on behalf of those who dare to â€˜speak upâ€™ â€“ why not lend your voice?