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· April, 2009

Stories about Freedom of Speech from April, 2009

Cuba: Path to the Future

  29 April 2009

“This little accessory hanging from the hip could well come to be all the newspapers we lack at the kiosks”: Cuba's Generation Y has faith in the potential of SMS to be a reliable source of information.

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Egypt: Plans for Sexual Harassment Film Unveiled

After the success of Egypt's Anti-Harassment Day, Egyptian blogger Asser Yasser invited women to share their personal experiences with this issue. Women and young women will be filmed going about their everyday lives, registering the different forms of harassment they are subjected to. Marwa Rakha has the story.

UAE: Torture video sends shock waves around the world

Last week, a grainy video from 2005 made headlines, shaking up viewers around the globe. The video, first shown on U.S.-based ABC News, showed Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan - brother of UAE's crown prince torturing an Afghan grain farmer, attacking him with a cattle prod then literally pouring salt on his wounds. Jillian C. York brings us reports from the blogosphere.

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Egypt's First Independent Union Formed

Egypt's real estate tax collectors have formed their first independent trade union since 1957. In addition to local recognition, the union has won international legitimacy after being accepted in the international body Public Services International. One blogger follows the developments from their start until the moment of triumph - with hundreds of photographs.

Armenia: Shooting the Messenger

  29 April 2009

Security, in the Caucasus and beyond…. comments on the tendency for nationalist voices in Armenia and the Diaspora to shoot down any proposals intended to promote peace and reconciliation with Turkey by discrediting them and preventing any open discussion or independent thought.

Egypt: Interviewing a Baha'i Assailant

Egyptian blogger Ibn Rushd interviewed one of the Baha'i assailants. Marwa Rakha translates the interview, in which the assailant admits to his role in the burning of six homes belonging to Baha'i families in the village of Shoraneya, from Arabic.

Central & Eastern Europe: Racism Roundup

  28 April 2009

The beatroot writes about Poland's boycott of the UN conference on fighting racism; Hungarian Spectrum writes about the Hungarian Guard and Holocaust denial; coverage of Slovenia's neo-Nazis – here and here, by Sleeping With Pengovsky, as well as here, by Piran Cafe; Borut Peterlin posts photos from an anti-fascist rally...

China: Peking University Humiliated

  27 April 2009

Veteran Party member and man of letters Ren Yanfang has spoken out [zh] online about the fate of an anthology set to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the founding of Peking University, in the spirit of the May Fourth Movement. Involving 188 high-profile academics and administrators, preparations began in 2004;...

China: Who is Siemen's Man in China?

  27 April 2009

Tword last week that a ban had been sent down on any reporting of the Siemens bribery case led netizens to realize that the case involves someone in China, and the growing [zh] consensus seems to rest on Jiang Zemin's son, Jiang Mianheng. ProPublica is still looking to name names.

Russia: Sochi Mayoral Election

  26 April 2009

James writes this about the mayoral election in Sochi at Robert Amsterdam's blog: “It can be tough work to continue coming up with new ways to fake the democratic process … after a while, the voters seem to wonder ‘why bother?'” Russia! reports on the detention of journalist Keith Gessen...

Thailand: Anti-censorship Site Got Blocked

  26 April 2009

The website of anti-censorship movement in Thailand, Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), got blocked by several University connections and ISPs on 25 of April. At the time of writing, it has still been blocked. The first report came from Thai Netizen mailing list. Blogger Arthit Suriyawongkul wrote in his blog...

Fiji: Diplomatic maneuverings

  25 April 2009

Last April 20, members of United Nations Security Council called the abrogation of Fiji’s constitution and the firing of its judiciary a “step backwards” and declared the country should hold elections as soon as possible. A few of Fiji’s bloggers blasted the UN for issuing statements that produced no concrete results such as trade sanctions.

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Sri Lanka: The Pros And Cons Of International Attention

  24 April 2009

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are holding on to to just a sliver of land in the north of Sri Lanka, but the United Nations is estimating that 50,000 people are still trapped in the warzone. As fighting surges in the final throes, concerns for civilians is growing and calls for international attention and understanding abound on the Internet and in the streets of cities around the world, such as London, Berlin and Paris.

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