December, 2021

Stories from December, 2021

Azerbaijan's controversial media law has grave consequences for media freedom and independence

Hailed by its proponents as the reform bill, its impact on the media freedom and independence in Azerbaijan is going to be extensive, critics of the law say.

Serbian authorities accused of spying on visiting Russian citizens at behest of Kremlin

Russia and Serbia have formed a joint working group to combat protest movements against autocratic and populist governments by suppressing grassroots initiatives, independent media, the opposition and civil society organizations.

In Nigeria, the government weaponises the law against online expression

The Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 (NCA) has been employed by the government in justifying various violations of online freedom of expression in Africa's most populous nation.

Despite updates in legislation, organisations in Uganda struggle with data protection and privacy compliance

While Ugandan legislation was recently updated to include more provisions aimed at protecting digital privacy, reality on the ground shows the majority of Ugandans are not guaranteed those rights.

Tunisia: New prosecutions resurrect shadow of dictatorship

The use of military law by Kais Said's government to prosecute journalists and restrict freedom of expression foreshadows a return to the nightmare governments of before the Arab Spring.

In Sudan, the court stands on the side of unrestricted access to the internet

In Sudan a judge ruled to restore the internet service to the Sudanese after it was cut off in the aftermath of the October 25 coup.

2021 in retrospective: Authoritarian practices threatened journalists and restricted media freedom in South Asia

In this retrospective, we will review issues of online and press freedom, censorship, the safety of journalists and digital rights in South Asia that we covered during the year.

How did Vietnam do on human rights in 2021?

"As 2021 draws to a close, we ask that the international human rights community remain vigilant and continue working with their respective governments to demand that Vietnam respect its international...

SMEX: Israel’s presence at Expo Dubai 2020 Is a threat to digital rights

In November, US Department of Commerce blacklisted two Israeli surveillance companies, NSO Group and Candiru, which have reportedly supplied spyware to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Bahrain.

Mozambican government reacts to conflict by imposing its own digital narratives

An on-going armed conflict is depriving Mozambicans of their right to access reliable information as the government spares no efforts to impose its own narratives

Namibian activists maximize social media to expose unlawful jurisdiction and homophobic legislature

LGBTQ+ and feminist activists in Namibia use social media as a tool to gain international attention and put pressure on their government to ensure equal rights.

International media watchdog digs into the ‘great leap backwards’ of journalism in China

Reporters Without Borders' report presents an extensive account of how China has repressed freedom of expression and the right to information in recent years.

Russia blocks access to Tor browser website

The push for greater online censorship is part of the country's "sovereign internet" strategy which seeks to cement centralised state control over internet infrastructure and online spaces.

Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards highlights Hong Kong's censored productions

Beijing's boycott of the Golden Horse Film Awards has generated a space for Hong Kong's independent, less-commercial productions in the international film market.

Georgian Communications Commission levies fines on TV channels for ‘political’ content

The Georgian National Communications Commission has fined several TV stations for airing "political" content outside of an electoral campaign period. Some have criticised the fines as disproportionate towards opposition-leaning channels.

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