· December, 2016

Stories about Human Rights from December, 2016

In 2016, a Toxic Political Smog Spread Over China and Hong Kong

For more than two weeks, 23 Chinese cities have been under a red alert warning citizens to take extreme precautions in light of a toxic smog that has invaded their territories. The...

A Year of Violence in Bangladesh

Groups linked to ISIS, Ansar Al Islam or Ansarullah Bangla Team have claimed responsibility for violent attacks on intellectuals and regular citizens. What does this mean for the future?

Iranian Civil Rights Defender Continues Hunger Strike, Protesting His Wife's Arrest For Fiction Writings

The campaign to free civil rights defender Arash Sadeghi has reached a critical point. Two months into his hunger strike, many worry Sadeghi's life is on the line.

Imprisoned Iranian Activist Faces New Charges After Complaint About Mistreatment

"When asked to produce a warrant, they attacked me. One of the agents, who I’m embarrassed to say was a woman, started to beat me."

Former Kuwaiti Lawmaker Sentenced to 42 Years in Jail for Tweets, ‘Insulting Saudi Arabia’

Dashti is a critic of Saudi Arabia, in particular its war in Yemen. He is also known for his controversial support of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

Netizen Report: Threats on Civil Society Reach New Heights in Macedonia, Egypt

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Assaults on Rights Activists Harm Civil Society — And Saudi Arabia's Progress

Saudi Arabia's ongoing crackdown on peaceful activism is depriving activists of their freedom and basic rights -- and it's costing the kingdom the work and creativity of its brightest reformists.

Macedonia's Ruling Party Lashes Out at Civil Society After Contested Elections

Flyers naming civil society members (so-called “traitors”) were distributed in the mailboxes and under windshield wipers throughout the capital, Skopje. Others were targeted on social media.

Thailand’s New Computer Crimes Law Threatens Free Speech and Encryption

"The law's most serious shortcoming is in its giving too much power for authorities to make their own judgement whether certain actions may be deemed in violation of the law."

Belarus Moves to Block Tor in Fight Against Online Anonymity

Belarus is ramping up efforts to crack down on Tor. But does Minsk actually have the ability to block the anonymity network?

The High Cost of Algeria's Crackdown on Speech: Life and Freedom

Will the Algerian government acknowledge the high cost of silencing its critics before more lives are lost or destroyed for a mere Facebook post?

Military Trials of Journalists Cast Light on the Taboo of Criticizing the Army in Tunisia

Laws allowing military courts to handle cases involving citizens, including journalists and bloggers, continue to hold back Tunisia's democratic reforms.

Activist Arrested on Royal Insult Charges for Sharing BBC Article About Thailand's New King

Almost 2,500 Facebook users shared the post, but the police singled out an activist calling for the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

Two Young Activists Get 10 Years in Jail Each After Graffiti on Azerbaijan Patriarch's Statue

"I don’t want to be remembered by apologising in my final statement. I refuse to see myself as a prisoner. I am a lover of freedom."

Russian Blogger Launches Campaign to Annul Anti-Extremism Law He Was Convicted of Violating

Blogger Anton Nossik wants to annul Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code, a catch-all statute that prohibits "ctions aimed at the incitement of hatred or enmity."

Sudanese Government Targets Activists, Stifles Media Coverage of Civil Disobedience

The civil disobedience action began on 27 November after the government removed subsidies on electricity, fuel and medicine.

Netizen Report: China's New Cybersecurity Law Hardcodes Surveillance Practices Into Law (And Technology)

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Polls Open Amid Communications Blackout in The Gambia

The Gambia has shut off all external communications as citizens cast their votes in the country's presidential elections, by blocking both the internet and international phone calls.

Award-Winning Chinese Citizen News Site Founder Detained Amid Crackdown on Human Right Defenders

The founder of a Chinese citizen news site has been detained in what one human rights organization is calling "the escalation of President Xi Jinping’s relentless crackdown on civil society."

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