Advox is delighted to partner with the Small Media Foundation to bring you the UPROAR initiative, a collection of essays highlighting challenges in digital rights in countries undergoing the UN's Universal Periodic Review process, which is conducted by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. For the Universal Periodic Review the human rights records of UN Member states are reviewed on a four-year cycle. This process is a chance for each state to inform the UN and other observers of human rights in their countries about the actions they have taken to protect the rights of their residents.
At Advox, we affirm that digital rights are human rights. We support the expansion of the human rights review to include the protection of digital rights. The countries from which these essays have come are undergoing their UPR review in a specific cycle; this platform is an opportunity to illuminate the progress and the challenges that they face with the implementation of digital rights. Internet controls, censorship, intimidation of journalists and discrimination of minority groups online are some of the issues that our pieces highlight. Our stories show that while there is much to celebrate, there is still a long way in the protection for digital rights of all people. Our stories also show the creative ways that advocates are harnessing digital technologies to demand respect for their human rights. We are grateful to all the contributors who share these stories with us and we hope that they invite a renewed commitment to protecting the digital rights of people all over the world.
Read the stories
Stories about UPROAR
The chilling tale of mass surveillance and spying in Rwanda
Rwanda justifies its tight control over media freedom, suppression of dissent, and hostility toward opposition as matters of national unity and security.
Digital rights remain under threat in Malawi despite historic win for democracy
Will the change in the country's leadership bring about meaningful changes to ensure that Malawians enjoy human rights in the digital space?
The day Liberia shut down freedom of expression amid a mass protest
Last year, the Liberian government disrupted social media access to prevent live protest coverage and the mobilization of protesters, shutting down freedom of expression and the right to access information.
Congolese journalist forced into exile for documentary on violent evictions
Congolese filmmaker Gaël Mpoyo and his family have been forced to live in exile, given the sensitive subject of his film and a climate of insecurity in South Kivu province.
In Liberia, a new mobile phone tariff collides with digital rights
The cost-prohibitive surcharge will make it harder for everyday Liberians to get online, limiting digital access at the height of a pandemic when citizens need reliable information more than ever.
How does Rwanda’s genocide ideology law regulate speech online?
Rwanda’s genocide ideology law seriously limits freedom of speech online and creates a culture of fear and self-censorship among opposition and dissenting voices.
Is Namibia walking a fine line between Chinese and European spy technology?
Namibia denies accusations that it is building an internet war chest to effortlessly check up on its domestic critics.
Despite COVID-19, no respite for human rights crackdowns in Egypt
Prominent blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has gone on a hunger strike to protest his unlawful detention, his family said.
Two Iranian rights activists revisit the November 2019 internet shutdown
“Hundreds of protestors were killed in a matter of three days and most of the world was not aware of what happened.’’
In Lebanon, journalists and activists who cover protests face threats
Media professionals have raised their voices against the use of excessive force against them while they are trying to cover the mass protests.
Jordan's online censorship decisions: non-transparent and —at times— arbitrary
The Jordanian government should take steps to ensure that its citizens’ right to online freedom of expression and information are protected.
New privacy law in Mozambique threatens freedom of expression, activists say
New legislation criminalizes all types of invasion of privacy via mobile phones, and the publication of images or videos of third parties without their consent.
Sudan needs strong network neutrality laws to match its growing internet boom
As internet access becomes more available to a wider range of Sudanese citizens, a lack of net neutrality regulations means that violations in Sudan occur easily and often.
Deadline looms for biometric SIM card registration in Tanzania
The biometric SIM card registration process means Tanzania joins a growing list of African nations gripped by the biometric data and digital identification revolution in Africa.
Data protection policy void threatens privacy rights of citizens and refugees in Jordan
Jordan is considering a data protection bill. Will its adoption reinforce privacy protections in the country?
Kenya now has a data protection law. What does this mean for netizens?
Will Kenya’s new data protection law protect the rights of citizens? Or will it serve as a conduit to acquire, store and use data in the digital capitalism food chain?
Nigeria's social media bill will obliterate online freedom of expression
The proposed social media bill will annihilate online freedom of expression, criminalize criticism of the government and legalize internet shutdowns in Nigeria.
Activists in Angola continue to face repression for online and offline activities
Online activists in Angola risk tough reactions from authorities, particularly when their activities are connected to offline activism.
Angolan president's reforms drive positive impact on media — but limits persist
Under Angola's former regime, JES, prosecutions of activists and journalists were common. In 2017, João Lourenço (“JLO”) succeeded JES and journalists began to see reforms to press freedoms. But is it enough?
Internet censorship in Sudan: Rethinking laws and tactics that served an authoritarian regime
Sudan's transitional authorities have taken small steps toward improving the climate for internet freedom in the country— but these remain inadequate.