Amnesty International has issued a "Call to Bloggers", asking them to get online and stand up for freedom of expression on the Internet.

The organisation says this is a critical time when fundamental rights – particularly freedom of expression and privacy – are under threat from governments that want to control what their citizens say, and what information they can access.

The call comes as the online world prepares to meet at the Internet Governance Forum to discuss the future of the Internet.

Amnesty released a statement to the IGF today and is sending a delegation to ensure that human rights are not sidelined and remain at the heart of the forum’s discussions.

Amnesty International's statement also coincides with an appeal on behalf of a blogger in Iran who was detained this month. Kianoosh Sanjari was arrested earlier this month while reporting on clashes between security forces and supporters of Shi'a cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi.

Steve Ballinger, part of Amnesty International’s delegation to the IGF, said:

“Freedom of expression online is a right, not a privilege – but it’s a right that needs defending. We’re asking bloggers worldwide to show their solidarity with web users in countries where they can face jail just for criticising the government."

“The Internet Governance Forum needs to know that the online community is bothered about free expression online and willing to stand up for it.”

Amnesty International is calling on governments and companies to ensure that human rights – particularly the rights to freedom of expression, association and the right to privacy – are respected and protected.