Stories about Freedom of Speech from December, 2009
The year 2009 is ending and its time to retrospect how the year has been for the South Asian region. In a two-part review we will look back at some of the major events which took place this year in the South Asian countries seen through the eyes of the citizen journalists.
As Global Voices celebrates its fifth anniversary, the occasion has given us all an opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do and how our work makes a difference. As my colleague Jillian York so succinctly put it, “We spread stories. We spread words.” We manage to do...
Arefe reports that the mother of the leader of the leader of Ethiopia’s biggest opposition party and political activist, Birtukan Mideksa has sent a letter sent to Prime Minster Meles Zenawi asking for her daughter’s release.
If the Armenian and Georgian blogospheres attracted most interest during 2008 after one disputed presidential election in the former and an albeit short war with Russia in the latter, Azerbaijan was the undoubted focus in 2009. In particular, youth activists quickly embraced both new and social media to spread their message online.
Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines comments on new charges made against imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, 2009 recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) International Press Freedom award. The blog says that some things don't change, but nonetheless encourages its readers to speak out in 2010.
Prita Mulyasari, a housewife who was charged with defamation by a hospital for an email complaint against a bad health service, was found not guilty by the Indonesian High Court. Bloggers and twitterers are happy with the ruling.
Following the blocking of veteran Internet essayist He Caitou's (@hecaitou) two longstanding blogs hecaitou.net and caobian.info on December 25, renowned columnist Lian Yue (@lianyue) had yet another one of his blogs, lianyue.net, blocked on the 29th; late on the evening of December 30, Peking University new media associate professor Hu...
Tunisian bloggers organised a White Note Campaign to protest against online censorship on their blogs. One blogger decides to swim against the tide with a Black Note in protest.
Russian popular blogging platform Livejournal has suspended an account of a historian Yuri Felshtinsky [ENG] after he had published a link to a Russian translation of his book “The Age of Assassins: The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin” [ENG].
Foreign Notes writes about the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine and the impact that its outcome may have on the freedom of speech: “It must be dispiriting for journalists to know how little impact is made by their revelations of Ukraine's leaders’ systematic abuse of power, and a worry to...
Belarus Digest writes about the alleged plans of the government to introduce “additional measures to regulate Internet in Belarus.”
Many Chinese public intellectuals take flack for keeping quiet on major social issues. Beijing Film Academy professor Cui Weiping has sought to change that by tweeting her peers' views on the recent sentencing of China's most prominent democrat.
Trinidadian bloggers comment on the country's record murder rate – Jumbie's Watch: “The message is clear. We’re screwed.” B.C. Pires: “Not even when Mr Manning and Mr Panday achieve Trinidad's most vulgar historic event – the creation of an executive presidency by back-room trickery – will Trinidadians put their feet...
Cuban diaspora blogger Uncommon Sense reports on “the arrests over the past several days of numerous activists attempting…to show their support for political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who has been on a hunger strike…to demand that his human rights be respected.”
Twitter has been accused of attempting to silence tributes to Gaza one-year after an Israeli onslaught devastated the Palestinian enclave. Pro-Palestinian and human rights activists used the influential Twitter to express support for the besieged territory. Tweets using the hashtag #Gaza flooded in on December 27th, peaking at number 3 on Twitter's top ten Trending Topics list.
Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor was caught up in another controversy as he tweeted to his approx. 542,000 Twitter followers a personal opinion on the recent change in Indian visa rules. Smoke Signals has the details.
Nominations open today (December 29) for the Breaking Borders Award, a new prize created by Global Voices and Google to honor outstanding web projects initiated by individuals or groups that demonstrate courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression.
Barbadian bloggers note with interest the launch of a new non-partisan political blog.
Twenty-four hours later and #CN4Iran remains in heavy constant use by Chinese Twitter users speaking out in support of protests now underway across Iran. The #CN4Iran hashtag has since been joined by a @CN4Iran Twitter account and a central blog. Related is this post with a similar story from 2007.
Iranian protesters poured into Tehran and several major cities in defiance of the Iranian government on Sunday, as large crowds gathered for Ashura, a major religious observance.
Viet Tan publishes an article which provides a background to the problems encountered by Facebook users in Vietnam.