December, 2016

Stories from December, 2016

Bangladesh Blocks 560 Porn Sites

Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority country, where many people have expressed concerns about the spread and consumption of online pornography. But it is also a democracy.

In 2016, a Toxic Political Smog Spread Over China and Hong Kong

For more than two weeks, 23 Chinese cities have been under a red alert warning citizens to take extreme precautions in light of a toxic smog that has invaded their territories. The...

Iranian Civil Rights Defender Continues Hunger Strike, Protesting His Wife's Arrest For Fiction Writings

The campaign to free civil rights defender Arash Sadeghi has reached a critical point. Two months into his hunger strike, many worry Sadeghi's life is on the line.

Imprisoned Iranian Activist Faces New Charges After Complaint About Mistreatment

"When asked to produce a warrant, they attacked me. One of the agents, who I’m embarrassed to say was a woman, started to beat me."

When They Censored Messaging Apps on Election Day, Montenegrin Regulators ‘Acted Legally’

Political oppositionists and prominent members of the country's civil society say the government's crackdown on social media harmed Montenegro's freedom of expression at a time when it was most needed.

Former Kuwaiti Lawmaker Sentenced to 42 Years in Jail for Tweets, ‘Insulting Saudi Arabia’

Dashti is a critic of Saudi Arabia, in particular its war in Yemen. He is also known for his controversial support of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

Netizen Report: Threats on Civil Society Reach New Heights in Macedonia, Egypt

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Assaults on Rights Activists Harm Civil Society — And Saudi Arabia's Progress

Saudi Arabia's ongoing crackdown on peaceful activism is depriving activists of their freedom and basic rights -- and it's costing the kingdom the work and creativity of its brightest reformists.

Macedonia's Ruling Party Lashes Out at Civil Society After Contested Elections

Flyers naming civil society members (so-called “traitors”) were distributed in the mailboxes and under windshield wipers throughout the capital, Skopje. Others were targeted on social media.

Thailand’s New Computer Crimes Law Threatens Free Speech and Encryption

"The law's most serious shortcoming is in its giving too much power for authorities to make their own judgement whether certain actions may be deemed in violation of the law."

Social Media Sites Blocked in Kazakhstan on 25th Anniversary of Independence

Activists reported that Facebook, YouTube, and other social media websites were inaccessible in Kazakhstan on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the country's independence from the Soviet Union.

#FreeMaxenceMelo: Authorities Charge Tanzanian Whistleblowing Website Owner Under Cybercrimes Law

"Mentioning 'Tanzania' and 'democracy' in the same sentence amounts to subjecting the term 'democracy' to ridicule."

Netizen Report: Discussion Platform Founder Arrested in Tanzania

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Belarus Moves to Block Tor in Fight Against Online Anonymity

Belarus is ramping up efforts to crack down on Tor. But does Minsk actually have the ability to block the anonymity network?

The High Cost of Algeria's Crackdown on Speech: Life and Freedom

Will the Algerian government acknowledge the high cost of silencing its critics before more lives are lost or destroyed for a mere Facebook post?

Netizen Report: Sudanese Activists Sustain Calls for Civil Disobedience, Despite Arrests

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Military Trials of Journalists Cast Light on the Taboo of Criticizing the Army in Tunisia

Laws allowing military courts to handle cases involving citizens, including journalists and bloggers, continue to hold back Tunisia's democratic reforms.

Activist Arrested on Royal Insult Charges for Sharing BBC Article About Thailand's New King

Almost 2,500 Facebook users shared the post, but the police singled out an activist calling for the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

Two Young Activists Get 10 Years in Jail Each After Graffiti on Azerbaijan Patriarch's Statue

"I don’t want to be remembered by apologising in my final statement. I refuse to see myself as a prisoner. I am a lover of freedom."

The Thin Line Between Political Censorship and Fighting Fake News in Iran

Iran wants to regulate social-media news accounts with more than 5,000 followers because of the dangers of fake news. But what about the danger to free speech?

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