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Stories about Freedom of Speech

Rubber ducks in Thai protests inspire solidarity and memes

"The image of Thai authorities, armed to the teeth with riot gear and shields, facing off against…rubber ducks…highlights the sheer asymmetry of the battle between protester and state."

Belarusians mourn the death of young opposition supporter

The 31-year-old Roman Bondarenka was the fourth person killed since protests began over the results of August's presidential election. As they mourn, Belarusians fear that they could share his fate.

In the Middle East, words escape prison walls to inspire freedom and hope

"Why is our homeland so small and tight, and why am I considered a criminal or an enemy that threatens it!”

Somali journalists say new media law will muzzle free press

Somalia’s media workers say that the draconian new media law will repress journalists who are already struggling in a hostile media environment. 

Stop playing politics or face a ban, Nintendo warns Animal Crossing gamers

Nintendo's newest hit is being used as a platform for political expression, and the Japanese video game giant is having none of it.

Solomon Islands bans Facebook for ‘harmful content’

"Do not go into public life and make laws and decisions for your own good or for your own protection as is seen with the banning of Facebook."

Voices in a Bangkok rally a day after police used water cannon and tear gas against protesters

"I feel that I have to come out to demand my rights. My friends, my younger siblings, or my children in the future should have a better life than this."

Beijing's misgivings with tech billionaire Jack Ma, as seen by Chinese social media

Many Chinese netizens are wondering how political was the decision to halt Ant Group's IPO, and have dig through the internet to find clues.

An internet with borders: A perspective from Pakistan

Pakistan recently adopted new rules imposing fines and bans on services that fail to take down and restrict content within short time frames.

Angolan police violently cracked down on protest against postponement of local elections

Local elections, which were to be organized this year for the first time since Angola's independence, were postponed after a delay in passing legislation to regulate it.

Thai LGBTQ+ activists and pro-democracy protesters march together for equality

In Bangkok, LGBTQ activists join ranks with democracy protestors join to demand gender and marriage equality as well as political reforms of the monarchy.

A Hong Kong reporter's account of the crackdown on press freedom under the national security law

"What we are facing now is not just the survival of Apple Daily but the whole independent media sector."

Hong Kong’s opposition resigns en masse following unprecedented Beijing ruling

The new directive allows the Hong Kong government to unseat elected lawmakers deemed unpatriotic.

Malaysian students face sedition probe over Facebook post urging the king not to interfere in politics

"Academic scholarship and promotion of human rights cannot flourish in an atmosphere of censorship and disproportionate restriction of speech and expression."

European Court of Human Rights verdict vindicates Macedonian columnist convicted of defamation in 2010

"This verdict is important for Macedonian journalists, columnists, and overall, for the people that appear in public, as it encourages them to be principled, honest, brave and persistent."

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part II

Weaponizing digital blackouts or social media clamp down by Algeria, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania is an ominous sign of a deeply problematic system of governance. 

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part I

African governments are using school examinations and politically charged moments as an excuse to effect digital blackouts or clamp down on social media. 

Myanmar NGO launches tool for voters to compare human rights programs of parties competing in election

"Our aim is to give the electorate complete information about the political parties’ human rights promises – or lack of promises – so that voters can make a fully informed...

Bullets, blood and death: The untold story of what happened at Lekki Toll Gate in Nigeria, Part I

“Why is [Lagos State Governor] Sanwo-Olu denying? Immediately after [the Lekki shooting], Sanwo-Olu came, parked at the toll gate. He saw dead bodies on the ground. Why is he denying?” 

Bullets, blood and death: The untold story of what happened at Lekki Toll Gate in Nigeria, Part II

Nicholas Okpe, an active #EndSARS protester, wore a patch on his right chest where a bullet pierced him. The bullet was still lodged in Okpe’s chest.

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