· May, 2015

Stories about Human Rights from May, 2015

Chinese Authorities Leap to Discredit Detained Citizens’ Rights Activist

"Now wicked people have taken control and good people are in jail."

Tagline of Zelalem Kiberet’s Blog: ‘Let Freedom Ring’

Because of his wit, humorous writings and uncompromising digs on religion, his friends nicknamed Zelalem after the imminent French writer, Zola.

Digital Citizen 3.0

Digital Citizen is a biweekly review of news, policy, and research on human rights and technology in the Arab World.

Human Rights Lawyer's Indictment Marks the Beginning of a ‘Weibo Inquisition’ in China

Pu Zhiqiang was indicted on charges of "inciting ethnic hatred" and "picking quarrels and provoking a disturbance." The case against him is based on about 30 online postings he wrote.

Message to an Ethiopian Blogger: Mahlet Fantahun, You Are Not Alone

"Writing one single blog post is not going to bring Mahlet... out of Kaliti Prison. This is much rather about keeping the process going. Of not staying silent."

STATEMENT: Global Voices Calls for Safety of Bangladesh Bloggers

We condemn the recent murders of bloggers and call on authorities to ensure that those responsible for these killings are brought to justice.

Verdict Delayed in Detained Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani's Trial

Atena Farghadani was arrested over a cartoon she drew that depicts Iran's members of parliament as animals voting on law that will restrict access to contraception and criminalise voluntary sterilisation.

Atena Farghadani Goes on Trial Tomorrow in Iran for Her Cartoon About Access to Contraception

The cartoon that sparked her arrest depicts members of parliament as animals. She is charged with spreading propaganda against the system, insulting members of parliament and insulting the supreme leader.

Ethiopian Blogger Atnaf Berahane: Young, Courageous, and in Jail

This 26-year-old Ethiopian blogger's passion for free speech left him in chains.

Under a Shaky Ceasefire, Yemenis Struggle to Stay Connected to the World

Frequent electricity cuts, bombings and a dire humanitarian situation could exacerbate and completely isolate Yemen should internet and telecommunications services be cut.

Bahrain Court Upholds Six Month Sentence Against Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab Over Tweet

A Bahrain court today upheld a six-month sentence for human rights defender Nabeel Rajab over a tweet. Rajab is already in custody under investigation for other tweets.

Netizen Report: Are Blogger Assassinations Becoming Routine in Bangladesh?

This week saw the third killing of a Bangladeshi blogger in 2015. In other news, China and Russia conspire on cybersecurity, and Iran blocks women (and Justin Bieber) on Instagram.

Human Rights Abuses in Azerbaijan: We Can’t Stay On The Sidelines Anymore

Arzu Geybullayeva calls on Western leaders to speak out on political prisoners in Azerbaijan as the country prepares to host the European Games.

Open Letter to President Obama From a Bahraini Human Rights Defender

AlMahafdah, a former political detainee in Bahrain, asks President Obama to "be the voice of the people of Bahrain" when he meets the crown prince of the kingdom on Wednesday.

Hong Kong Citizens Want Legal Protections for Their Metadata

Should government agencies really be able to look at Hong Kongers' telephone metadata without any oversight from the courts?

Ananta Bijoy Das Becomes Third Blogger Killed This Year in Bangladesh

Das promoted critical thinking about religion, which sparked the ire of Islamic hardliners in Bangladesh. He was hacked to death by a group of masked people with machetes.

“Their Freedom is Their Right”: A Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience in the Arab World

Three human rights organizations launch a social media campaign to raise awareness about prisoners of conscience throughout the Arab World.

Philippines Deports Thai Worker for Insulting Filipinos on Facebook

Some Filipinos in Thailand criticized the deportation: "Offensive, hateful and downright irresponsible as [the remarks] are, they were not criminal."

Singapore Shuts Down News Website on World Press Freedom Day

"The (government's) draconian measures...legitimize excessive intervention by the state and set a precedent for the diminution of our online space."

“We Cannot Trample Upon the Humanity of Others Without Devaluing Our Own”

The Zone9 bloggers' crime was that they dared to live out "Ubuntu". They promoted their community above individualistic concerns.

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