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· September, 2021

Stories about Censorship from September, 2021

Qatar urged to release 21 detainees held for protesting ‘discriminatory’ election laws

The laws, ratified by the Qatari ruler to regulate the upcoming vote, bars citizens who are classified as "naturalized" rather than "native" from running in elections, voting, or both.

Is China exporting its surveillance state to Venezuela?

One of the largest Chinese defense companies has been pointed out for providing the Venezuelan government software to block access to the Internet and to spy on its detractors.

Why did Twitter support Nigeria’s #EndSARS and not Ghana’s #FixTheCountry?

Although the reason is unclear, Twitter’s actions suggest an unwillingness to interfere in Ghana's politics as it did in Nigeria, even if it means not defending citizens digital rights.

Kazakhstan considers new legislation to hinder social media

New legislative amendments are poised to curtail the activity of social media companies in Kazakhstan. Ostensibly to protect children's rights, the restrictions could enhance government snooping.

In Turkey, a citizen sentenced to prison for insulting the president

Since getting elected as president in 2014, some "100,000 people have been accused of defaming the president," based on Article 299 of the Penal Code in Turkey.

A veteran Hong Kong Wikipedia editor: “Wikipedia's policies are vulnerable to authoritarian abuse”

'Lock up netizens who are skeptical of the Chinese establishment, let the regime's loyal cheerleaders pass through the net... and voila you have an army of self-motivated propagandists'.

Belarusian authorities rule to liquidate domestic violence shelter

The liquidation of Radislava is part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs, independent media, and activists in Belarus that intensified this summer following a year of protests against fraudulent elections.

Dissenting artist Ai Weiwei on Hong Kong: art would not be art if it cannot be done in the face of tyranny

'Art would not be art if it cannot be done in the face of tyranny… the artworks which fight for freedom are precious efforts of the human spirit.'

Singapore’s The Online Citizen news website stops operating after government suspends its license

"The licensing regime is simply meant to strike fear in the minds of the would-be donors and subscribers to prevent them from supporting independent journalism in Singapore."

Ahead of September elections, Russia tightens grip on remaining online freedoms

Ahead of Russia's parliamentary elections on September 17-19, the state's crackdown on opposition groups, circumvention tools and internet infrastructure has escalated to a fever pitch.

Investigative journalism group OCCRP says it will no longer work in Russia

Drew Sullivan, OCCRP's co-founder and editor-in-chief, said their work in Russia at the moment would do local reporters "more harm than good."

The construction of Chinese patriotic masculinity: ‘sissies will ruin the nation’

The Chinese regulators have banned effeminate images and idols on both television and video streaming sites since September 2, 2021.

Russia blocks popular website for worker complaints

Antijob, an online database of anonymous complaints about Russian employers, has been blocked by censors following a defamation case brought by a Moscow real estate firm.

In Turkey, religious cleric joins calls to censor social media

Ali Erbas, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey suggests using Islamic jurisprudence to control social media platforms.

Kazakhstan news site receives threats after reigniting a child abuse story

Journalists in Kazakhstan are often under pressure for their work. A harrowing about child abuse is now the target of fresh threats against a news outlet.

After Twitter labeled Serbian pro-government media: It is important to know who controls and exercises pressure on media

Top Serbian state officials accused Twitter of censorship after it posted labels on the profiles and tweet of media outlets that don't enjoy editorial independence from the government.

Georgian-Belarusian security cooperation deal worries political emigres in Georgia

A year after disputed presidential elections in Belarus, a Georgian-Belarusian security cooperation agreement has come into force. Critics fear the treaty could help Minsk target political dissidents residing in Georgia.

Chinese netizens identify the Weibo supervisor system as a source of arbitrary censorship

Each Weibo supervisor filed an average of 4,472 censorship reports in July 2021. The top performer would have to file 700 complaints per day and 70 reports per hour.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party turns 20

Two decades into AK Party rule, its popularity is dwindling and its ties with western governments have deteriorated significantly as the country is facing an economic and democratic precipice. 

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