Stories about Freedom of Speech from March, 2009
Cuba: Open Mic Night
Cubans Generation Y and Octavo Cerco blog about “an unforgettable night” in front of open microphones.
Morocco: Different Names, Same Story
Despite outward progress, Morocco has faced a number of setbacks for press freedom over the past few years. Most recently, it was reported that Ali Anouzla and Jamal Boudouma, managing editor and publishing director of Moroccan newspaper Al-Jarida Al-Oula (الجريدة الأولى) have each received two-month suspended sentences and fines of MAD 200,000 (approximately USD$23,800) for "defamation" and "insulting the judiciary."
Macedonia: Student Protest Ends in Violence
Recently, the Macedonian government decided to build an Orthodox church with public financing on the main square of Skopje, a decision that the citizens of the city disapproved of. On March 28, a peaceful protest against the construction of the church turned violent when a group of counter-protesters attempted to prevent it. Elena Ignatova reviews the reactions in the Macedonian blogosphere.
Hong Kong and the Philippines: Satire or racism?
A Senate leader in the Philippines just filed a resolution condemning a Hong Kong writer Chip Tsao for his article “The War at Home” in HK Magazine (originally published on 27 of March). Now the article has been taken down in the website but the Senate Resolution also asked the...
Zimbabwe: My Blog is Blocked!
On Friday March 20, 2009 the Zimbabwean blog, Peace, love & happiness unto the whole world, was blocked. The author of the blog, Eusebia, wrote a short post about it saying, "I have not idea why my blog is being blocked...I refuse to be censored or cowered into silence by anyone because I know my human right of freedom of expression..."
UAE: Call for censorship feedback
A censorship watchdog is encouraging Internet users in the UAE to submit their feedback over the blocking of photo sharing site Flickr, reports the UAE Community Blog.
Azerbaijan: Blogger Interview
Dotcom, an online project which has participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan and the United States, has published an interview with Azerbaijani blogger Arzu Geybullayeva on blogging and citizen media. In particular, she talks about her work on gender issues and media freedom as well as about her blog, Flying Carpets and...
Latvia: Data Inspectorate vs Penguin Movement
Free Speech Emergency in Latvia reports that “the Latvian Data State Inspectorate has summoned the administrator of the website of the so-called Penguin Movement to explain what it claims were violations of laws and regulations with regard to handling and protecting personal data.”
Sudan: Chilling Account of the Arrest of an Online Activist
Sudanese Internet activist and lawyer Abdel Hakim Abdel Rahman Nasr was arrested in a raid on his house on the night of March 5 - and released March 11. Nasr was detained only a few hours after he expressed his support for the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on the online International Forum for Nubia, where he is a moderator. In this chilling post [Ar], on the forum which is now open to members only, Nasr details his arrest.
China and Hong Kong: Can Shanghai be a new international financial center?
On 25 March 2009, Xinhua News reported China’s State Council has endorsed a statement to urge Shanghai to be developed into an international financial center by 2020 in order to keep up with “China’s economic influence and the Chinese yuan’s international status”. The idea generates discussion in the Beiyouren Forum...
Iran: A Christian Blogger arrested
According to several sources an Iranian Christian blogger was arrested in the city of Isfahan in Iran about one month ago. He is a convert from Islam and he used to write about Bible in his blog.
Cuba: Antúnez Update
Diaspora blogger Uncommon Sense says that the Cuban authorities have “taken its fight with…dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez) to a new, more frightening level.”
Cuba: Antúnez Surrounded
Uncommon Sense and Octavo Cerco share their thoughts on reports that the Cuban police “have surrounded the home of Cuban dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez), who for more than a month has [led] a hunger strike to protest abuses by the Castro dictatorship.”
Cuba: Detainees Freed
The previously detained Cuban photographer and musician have been released – Sunrise in Havana has the details.
Malaysia: Government's love-hate relationship with new media
During a speech in a Party assembly, Malaysia's incoming Prime Minister said that new media should not be regarded as enemy. But hours before the speech, the party banned almost all online groups from the event.
Belarus: Death Penalty and the EU
Vilhelm Konnander writes about death penalty in Belarus and how it should affect the EU leaders’ approach to the country.
Belarus, U.S.: “Nationality Censorship in the U.S.”
Evgeny Morozov writes on Newsweek.com about a case of censorship by a U.S. web-hosting company involving a Washington, D.C.-based Belarusian, Yaraslau Kryvoi – LJ user yarik, whose own English-language account of what happened is here: “When I called for clarifications, a Bluehost representative told me that I “abused” their terms...
Poland, Belarus: TV Polonia/Belsat TV Controversy
Andrei Khrapavitsky writes about the controversy surrounding the recent sacking of Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, director of TV Polonia and Belsat TV.
Cuba: Reports of Detainment
Both Uncommon Sense and Sunrise in Havana blog about reports that a photographer and a musician have been detained in Cuba “after offering their show of solidarity in Placetas for political activist Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antunez).”
China: Names to be remembered
The death toll and identity details of school children victims in the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake last year has been sealed in a black box by Chinese government officials, like a state secret. Last December, Ai Wei-wei, a most respectable intellectual and blogger, decided to compile the names of school...
Sri Lanka: The Rationale Behind Blogging
The Whackster's Lair from Sri Lanka asks some questions to find out why we blog: “are we all boring? or are we just interesting to some people? and if we are interesting is that the sole reason to keep writing? or are we writing for our own pleasure in which...