Stories about Law from April, 2013
Cameroonian writer and blogger Enoh Meyomesse has been in jail for over 17 months. Accused of stealing and illegally selling gold, he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment after a process that several organizations considered illegitimate. Free expression advocates believe that authorities wish to silence Meyomesse, who has written extensively about human rights violations and inequality in the country.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, in Egypt, issued a “legal guide to digital security” as part of its digital freedoms programme. The guide was produced for campaigners and human rights activists and lawyers interested in freedom of digital expression and the confidentiality of communications and information stored on mobile phones, computers or any other device used to store or distribute data or information
Since the death of Hugo Chavez and narrow victory of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, two social media users have been arrested for posting information deemed “destabilizing” to the country. On election day, the Internet was briefly shut down throughout most of the country. And today, social network users are facing threats to their employment status, as authorities search profiles for signs of political affiliation that have, in several cases, resulted in users losing their jobs.
The Cyber Crimes Bill or #LeyBeingolea, was on the Congress agenda last week but was never addressed. The controversial Denial Bill was also there, which would penalize those who "approved, justify, deny or minimize crimes committed by members of terrorist organizations."
According to an April 18 news report, Japan's National Police Agency may soon urge Internet Service Providers to 'voluntarily' block the use of Tor, the anonymous online communication system. The NPA report carrying this announcement has not been formally released; whether NPA will actually put this move into practice remains unknown.
A court in Chile has dismissed claims against Chilean Twitter user Rodrigo Ferrari, who was facing prosecution for operating a Twitter account that parodied millionaire Andrónico Luksic. The decision is not final and may be reviewed by the Court of Appeals, but it is a good sign for the future of online free expression in Chile.
Pussy Riot, eat your heart out. On April 17, Russia’s most polarizing blogger, Alexey Navalny, will stand trial for embezzling roughly half a million dollars from a state-owned timber company in the city of Kirov. In a country constantly plagued by politicized legal proceedings, prosecuting the nation’s most prominent netizen promises fireworks.
Smoking cannabis is dangerous business for people the world over. In Russia, just writing about it online can get you in trouble. State officials informed Wikimedia Russia that the government has placed its “Cannabis Smoking” article on its blacklist of illegal websites.
Internet Without Borders reports that Jean Laokolé, a Chadian blogger and writer, was arrested on March 22 by security forces in N'Djamena, Chad's capital. In a petition released today, the advocacy group calls for the blogger's "immediate and unconditional release." Laokolé writes under a pseudonym for one of Chad's most popular blogs, where he covers corruption and other problems in politics.
The Detective Branch of Bangladesh Police has detained three bloggers- Rasel Parvez, Mashiur Rahman Biplob & Subrata Adhikari Shuvo yesterday night for their alleged write-ups demeaning Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Since yesterday the community blogging platform Amarblog.com has become inaccessible from Bangladesh. It is yet to be known whether the authorities have blocked it and why.
As deadly clashes between Islamist activists and authorities continue to escalate religious tensions in Bangladesh, the country's telecommunications authority is making moves to silence bloggers deemed anti-Muslim or anti-state. Award-winning blogger Asif Mohiuddin has become the latest target.