· January, 2021

Stories about Advocacy from January, 2021

A social media blackout persists in Uganda, weeks after the election

Uganda's longtime leader Yoweri Museveni was reelected for a sixth term, as rival Bobi Wine alleges massive irregularities, state inspired violence, intimidation and harassment.

Google’s plans for Saudi-based Cloud is ‘dangerous,’ says digital rights advocacy group

"With data stored in Saudi Arabia, Google and Snap will find themselves with little ability to resist government demands for users’ personal information."

Indigenous-led telecommunications organization wins historic legal battle in Mexico

The Indigenous-led telecommunications organization can continue to provide affordable cell phone access to local communities in Oaxaca.

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.

Thai woman receives 43-year sentence for sharing audio clips ‘defaming’ the monarchy

"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?"

A Zimbabwean journalist, two opposition politicians jailed for tweets about police brutality

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.

COVID-19, digital rights and Nigeria's emerging surveillance state

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. 

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

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.  

In Mozambique, a tug of war between public health and digital rights during the pandemic

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 implement data protection law before 2022 presidential election

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.

Lockdown to shutdown: How COVID-19 stifled digital rights in Zimbabwe

COVID-19 and its subsequent government policies have had far-reaching implications on digital rights and media freedom in Zimbabwe.

Namibia's COVID-19 internet rollout impresses, but excludes and widens control

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, COVID-19 rules are ‘perfect instrument for criminalizing dissent’

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.

COVID-19 and shrinking freedom limits in Jordan

In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.

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