Stories from January, 2021
In Tanzania, full-throttle COVID-19 denial leaves citizens without access to public health information
Since March 2020, the Tanzanian government has gone silent on the coronavirus with no data released to the public on infections or deaths.
"Although her sentence was reduced to 43 years, it’s still too harsh & unnecessary cruel. Should a defamation case land someone several decades in jail?"
Hopewell Chin’ono, Job Sikhala and Fadzai Mahere were arrested for tweeting about a police officer who allegedly beat a baby to death while enforcing COVID-19 regulations.
In Nigeria, contact-tracing apps raise valid concerns about the government's attempts to leverage this for future clampdowns on citizens' digital rights — long after the pandemic is long gone.
In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.
Under an extended state of emergency in Mozambique, several new digital platforms emerged to disseminate COVID-19 information. But these initiatives lack clarity in terms of data privacy and personal security.
Kenya must act quickly to enforce its new data protection law. If not prepared, the ghosts of Kenya’s political past may once again come back to haunt its citizens.
COVID-19 and its subsequent government policies have had far-reaching implications on digital rights and media freedom in Zimbabwe.
Namibia's tech-driven effort to bring more Namibians online during the pandemic seems brilliant. But most of Namibia’s historically marginalized native populations have been excluded.
In Uganda, increased criminalization of misinformation during the pandemic infringed on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information, especially targeting journalists and human rights activists.
In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.