Stories about Advocacy from July, 2008
Kuwaiti bloggers are angry at a proposed new Internet Law, which they claim would make their days as free bloggers numbered, after Attorney General Hamad Al Othman announced that a new law dealing with Internet crimes will be issued soon. Abdullatif Al Omar takes a closer look at the Kuwaiti blogosphere and their reactions to the impending law.
Following his apprehension last month as he was pitching in with the earthquake relief in his native Sichuan province, web activist Huang Qi was this weekend formally arrested for “illegal possession of state secrets”. Volunteers at his well-known website 64Tianwang.com (English) have been actively posting all news coverage and details...
At the end of our first day of open work, GV founder Rebecca MacKinnon put an important idea on the table: censorship is not only a political or technological problem; it is also a social problem. Thus, it is important to encourage bloggers to resist; to keep blogging. In this last task, the NGOs are one of the most valuable resources for bloggers who need help to keep blogging actively for their causes. The main question for the session was how NGOs can help more effectively.
On July 7, Savva Terentyev, 22, a Russian blogger and musician, received a one-year suspended jail sentence for a comment he posted on Feb. 15, 2007, on the blog of a local journalist Boris Suranov. Below are rough translations of the comment and a small passage from the verdict, as well as an opinion poll on the impact of Terentyev's case on the freedom of expression in the Russian blogosphere.
A week ago, a homemade bomb packed with bolts and screws tore through a crowd of thousands of people who had gathered for the Independence Day all-night concert near the World War II monument in central Minsk. The blast occurred around 12:30 a.m on July 4; some 54 people were wounded; Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko happened to be nearby when the bomb went off, but was not hurt.
Participants of the fourth session of Global Voices first day of its Summit 2008, discussed the tools to help create better internet access while maintaining anonymity. The session, which carried the title “Front Line Activists meet the Academy: Tools and Knowledge,” provided hands-on information for internet users from repressive states and those with freer governments.
Journalism student Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, accused of supposedly copyng text from an Iranian website criticizing Islam's stance on the treatment of women and sentenced to death for heresy, was berated by his own judge at his most recent appeals hearing, according to Jean MacKenzie at IWPR.
On Wednesday, Iranian members of parliament voted to discuss a draft bill that seeks to “toughen punishment for disturbing mental security in society.” The text of the bill would add, “establishing websites and weblogs promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy,” to the list of crimes punishable by death. In recent years,...
According to several news sites Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet. According to this draft bill bloggers can face the death penalty too.
How can NGOs seeking to advance freedom of expression most effectively work with on-the-ground free speech activists to combat censorship? As a journalist, author and blogger living in Sydney, Australia, the opportunity to be involved in this Global Voices event is a privilege. I thank the organisers for the opportunity.
While the first session of the 2008 Global Voices Summit focused on how internet censorship works in Belarus, Japan, Egypt, and Pakistan, and how activists have responded to those limitations, the second session was specifically focused on how censorship affects bloggers and citizen media.
Also making opening remarks on Day One was Sami Ben Ghabia, Adcovacy Director for Global Voices. Sami is originally from Tunisia, but is now living in the Netherlands. Sami described how the Advocacy Project for Global Voices has been following how citizens are using digital media for social activism.