Stories about Free Expression from January, 2017
Algerian Blogger Merzoug Touati Could Face 25 Years in Jail for Interviewing an Israeli Official on YouTube
The interview focuses on Algerian government accusations that foreign powers stoked protests against austerity measures in the country. Blogger Merzoug Touati is charged with "exchanging intelligence with a foreign power."
Myanmar Activists Say Junta-Era Defamation Law Must Go
"It is not appropriate that a citizen who criticises someone more powerful should face legal action of this kind."
Netizen Report: Trump Administration Kicks Off With Media Gags, Anti-Protest Measures
The Trump era begins, Cameroon shuts down the Internet for English-speaking regions, and Iranians wonder if Telegram will be blocked on election day.
Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say
Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.
Netizen Report: Bahrain Orders News Outlet to Stop ‘Using Electronic Media Tools’
Israeli lawmakers give nod to ‘Facebook Bill’, Oman suspends free speech cases against Facebookers, and Kenyans fear an election day Internet shutdown.
Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary
On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".
#SaveArash: Jailed Iranian Activist Arash Sadeghi is Fighting for Human Rights — And His Life
Arash Sadeghi was on hunger strike from 23 October 2016 until January 3, 2017. He remains alive and conscious, according to close contacts of his family.
Kyrgyz Security Services Declare War on President’s Facebook Critics
“Now many Internet users have a common passion — to get on this list."
Israel Advances New ‘Facebook Bill’, Threatening Free Speech
Between October 2015 and January 2016 alone, Israel arrested 150 Palestinians on the grounds of "incitement through social media."
Kenyans Fear a Possible Internet Shutdown During 2017 Presidential Election
Kenya would be not the first country in Africa to shut down its Internet during elections -- Uganda and The Gambia have already gone this far.
‘Most Efficient Trial in History’ Fines Serbian Magazine for Defamation of Interior Minister
"How can a journalist be 'unauthorised' to do their job: gathering information and suggesting conclusions based on the gathered evidence?"
Veteran Journalists in Hong Kong Launch Non-Profit News Site in Defense of Press Freedom
"In a time of chaos, we must distinguish right from wrong; when society is restless, we must stick to reason and fairness."
Award-Winning Chinese Human Rights Journalist: ‘This is a Calling, Not a Career Choice’
Twenty-six-year-old journalist Zhao Sile won a Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award for her 2016 story, "The Fate of Chinese Rights NGOs."