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· January, 2017

Stories about Censorship from January, 2017

Journalists of Closed Hungarian Newspaper Népszabadság Score ‘Symbolic Posthumous Victory’ in Court

A Hungarian court has ruled that last October's sudden closure of the country's leading opposition daily, Népszabadság, was illegal.

Russian Political Prisoner Ildar Dadin Files Request to Move Prisons

"Are there really no colonies closer to Moscow?" Dadin's wife asked Russia's State Penitentiary Service.

In Moldova, Civil Society Stands Up to ‘Big Brother’ Law

Pressured by civil society, Moldovan legislators debate whether to amend the flawed surveillance-enabling legal changes, called the "Big Brother" Law, or to demand a completely new proposal by the government.

Russian Police Lose an Easy Way to Trap ‘Internet Extremists’

On Tuesday, by revising one of its default privacy settings, the Russian social network Vkontakte significantly reduced the number of shared photographs publicly visible on individual account pages.

Russia Says No to Political Crowdfunding by Individuals

Russia's version of PayPal is shutting down the transfer of money to individuals collecting funds for political purposes—a decision that will undermine one presidential bid to challenge Putin in 2018.

Hardliners Pressuring Iran's President Rouhani to Ban Popular Telegram App, This Time for 2017 Election

“This (the internet) isn’t freedom. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Polluted anti-religious networks are functioning in this country because the organizations in charge are not doing their jobs.”

China Officially Outlaws Unauthorised VPNs

The Chinese government has been blocking some VPN services in China since 2015, but the current policy has officially made unregistered VPN and web-hosting services illegal.

A Persecuted Bangladeshi Writer Gets a New Life in the US. But Exile Isn't Easy.

“I feel that I am in exile not just physically, my mind is also in exile."

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".

Bhutan's Authorities Ban Film for ‘Misusing’ Religious Masks on Screen

"This narrowed minded decision is not just a ban against the film but a decision against the freedom of expression and creativity in Bhutan."

Dissent and Solidarity: When Iran Mourns One of the Fathers of Its Revolution

Massive crowds gathered in Tehran on January 10 for the funeral of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who led a paradoxical career as a revolutionary and figure of moderation.

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."

Digital Activists Are Disappearing in Pakistan

At least six bloggers and digital activists have disappeared thus far in 2017. Despite being a serious human rights issue, the number of people missing in Pakistan is unknown.

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.

Ukraine Bans Russia’s One Independent TV Station

The Ukrainian government has voted to remove Russian independent TV station Dozhd from its list of approved foreign broadcasters, giving providers one month to remove the station from their networks.

For Telegram Users, Iran's Registration Requirement Boosts State Snooping Powers

Telegram is Iran’s most popular messaging application and host to some 170,000 Iranian-owned channels. The new policy will require owners of popular channels to register with the government.

Will 2017 Be a Better Year for Turkey's Media?

Turkey's government continues to conflate journalism it doesn't like with terrorism and other crimes against the state.

Outspoken Fashion Designer Arrested By Turkish Authorities

The arrest of a public figure like Şansal, who is unaffiliated with any political party, has other government critics fearing they could be next.

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