Stories about Activism from March, 2013
This week, journalists in the West African nation of Togo celebrated the Constitutional Court's decision to throw out a recent law restricting media freedom. But with elections approaching, crackdowns on the press have continued, with some turning violent. This post features a series of citizen videos collected from YouTube and Twitter and curated on WITNESS' Human Rights Channel on YouTube.
On Friday, South Korea's National Assembly will meet with supporters and opponents of the country's "three strikes" law, including Assembly Member Mr. Choi Jae-Cheon, who has moved to repeal provisions of the law that allow authorities to disable a person's web service account or shut down his or her website for violating copyright regulations.
On 21 March, the Sultan of Oman issued a pardon for online activists and writers convicted on charges of insulting the ruler, "information technology crimes" and taking part in unauthorized protests. The move, which came as a surprise to most observers, runs counter to increasing attacks against online freedom of expression in the region.
As China's largest online social forum and most popular micro-blogging platform, Sina Weibo is subject to heavy censorship and manipulation by government actors. Earlier this week, Global Voices Advocacy explored the implications of recent findings by a group of US-based computer scientists on Sina Weibo's filtering techniques. Today, we look a new study from a group of researchers at Hong Kong University, who worked to measure the influence of certain groups of micro-bloggers on the site.
March 12 is World Day Against Cyber Censorship. Reporters Without Borders and other advocates for Internet rights are calling on activists, movements and organizations around the world to participate by reminding their constituents of the importance of protecting free expression online.
In the months approaching Kenya's national elections, citizens across the country mobilized to support peace on election day. Among them are 120 human rights activists and citizen journalists who participated in WITNESS video trainings in February. Several participants recently shared their thoughts, outlining their hopes and fears for the election and explaining what motivated them to learn how to film.
Last week, US Army soldier and whistleblower Bradley Manning took the stand in a military hearing to explain, in his own words, why he leaked thousands of sensitive military documents to the website WikiLeaks. Manning told the court that he decided to leak these documents to the media because they left him deeply concerned about American military activities in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.