· April, 2020

Stories about Free Expression from April, 2020

To fight COVID-19 in Myanmar, a call to end the war and internet shutdown in Arakan region

"During the global pandemic, we need to stop the war and internet shutdown to fight COVID-19 in Rakhine."

Setbacks for freedom of expression as Tunisia fights COVID-19

Two bloggers have been arrested for accusing local authorities of corruption in relation to aid distribution, while a journalist who criticized the health minister faced insults online. 

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.

Malaysia orders ‘stern action’ against media misreporting government statements on COVID-19

"Resorting to censorship, especially in its extreme form, in a time of crisis reflects the insecurity of the government of the day."

Fighting COVID-19 goes hand-in-hand with shuttering newspapers across the Middle East

As part of their measures to counter COVID-19, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, the UAE and Yemen, have all banned print newspapers until further notice.

Tunisia has a disinformation problem, but (further) criminalizing speech won't solve it

Following outcry from human rights groups and citizens, a controversial bill that sought to criminalize the spread of ‘’fake news’’ online was quickly withdrawn.  

Impact of COVID-19 containment measures on human rights and civil liberties in the Middle East

COVID-19 measures in the MENA region have especially targeted some of the most vulnerable groups such as detained human rights defenders, migrant workers and independent media. 

Serbian government revokes controversial COVID-19-related decree used as pretext to arrests journalists

Public outcry after arrest of journalist embarrassed the Serbian government, which revoked its decree aimed at centralizing flow of information about COVID-19 epidemic.

Blocked websites, internet shutdown, and media arrests undermine free speech in Myanmar

Activist and human rights groups are worried that free speech is being undermined in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

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