Stories about Freedom of Speech from January, 2010
Belarus: LGBT Issues
BelarusDigest quotes from a chapter on Belarus that was included in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of LGBT Issues Worldwide earlier this year.
Tajikistan: Judges seek to silence press
Alpharabius posts a story of the Tajik high-level judges, who conspired to punish three independent newspapers for publishing a sensational story about unlawful conviction practices at the courts.
Sri Lanka: ‘Lanka E news’ Banned
Journalists For Democracy In Sri Lanka blog informs that “the office of the ‘Lanka e news’, a prominent news website operating from Sri Lanka, has been sealed off by the authorities. [..] Two days before the elections, another regular contributor to the website, Prageeth Eknalogoda, went missing.”
Russia: CJR Piece on the Media
Robert Amsterdam recommends Adam Federman's article on the Russian media, published in Columbia Journalism Review: “[…] Federman focuses on the remaining mechanisms and political dynamics for freedom of press and the conditions in which genuinely good investigative journalism can still occur in today's harshly repressive media environment in Russia.”
Azerbaijan: Democracy is…
Önər Blog [AZ] posts a video [EN] made by the OL! Azerbaijani Youth Movement for the Democracy Video Challenge. OL! has been exemplary in its use of new media in the region and was co-founded by now imprisoned video blogging youth activist Adnan Hajizade.
Russia: Political Dossier Web Site Shut Down
Compromat.ru, a notorious Web site that publishes controversial dossiers on various Russian politicians and businessmen, has been allegedly closed following a court order, Elena Tokareva (a.k.a. LJ user elena-tokareva2) reported [RUS]. There are no further details on the issue but a mirror site kompromat.ru has been launched with some of...
China: Threatened by American Internet censorship
Reactions from Chinese programmers to SourceForge.net's decision to follow American law and block users from several countries include suggestions for how to work around American censorship of the global Internet.
Egypt: The Right to Speak Up
Egyptian bloggers and activists held a conference on January 22 in defense of their right to speak up after more than 20 Egyptian bloggers were arrested when their train arrived in the village of Naga Hammady where the Coptic massacre took place. Marwa Rakha sums up their reactions to their detention in this post.
Russia: Prosecution Against Opposition Blogger Stopped
The first criminal case against a blogger in Russia with a happy ending unfolded over a long period of time. After two years of investigation and three socio-linguistic assessments, experts didn't find any evidence of "incitement hatred against police and Russian Security Service officers." But the blogger's victory, however, is rather an exception than a rule.
Belarus: Politics and Economy Update
Belarus Digest reports on the ongoing political repressions in Belarus; the governement's plan “to introduce censorship on the Internet about a year before the next presidential election”; the new price of Belarusian entry visa (if issued at the airport) – 180 euro; and Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, which...
Russia: Lyudmila Alexeyeva; “Zhivago's Children”
IZO links to a New York Times’ profile of the 82-year-old Russian dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva (who blogs in Russian at http://lm-alexeeva.livejournal.com/) – and to a review of Vladislav Zubok's Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia, posted at Languagehat.
Brazil: The National Program for Human Rights – Part 1
Controversy has erupted following the proposal of a legislative reform package that decriminalises abortion and criminalises homophobia, bans religious symbols from public spaces and calls for a truth commission.
Russia: Newspaper Web Site Hacked
The Web site of a popular Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” has been hacked today, RIA news agency reported [EN]. Allegedly, the attack has been provoked by the article [RUS] about a controversial demolition [ENG] of houses at the luxury Rechnik neighborhood in Moscow.
South Korea: Mediact to be dismantled
Mediact, South Korea's first public media center, will be dismantled in 1st of February under the Lee Myung Bak's government (more from interlocals). A petition has been launched to save the center.
Syria: Netizens Discuss SourceForge Ban
A day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a free and open Internet, Syrian users noticed they could no longer access open-source software community SourceForge. Bloggers react to the block.
Philippines: Blogger charged with libel
A Filipino blogger was charged with a libel suit by the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development after writing about the ‘rotting’ relief goods in a government warehouse. This is the first time a public official has sued a blogger in the Philippines.
Vietnam: Long prison terms for ‘democracy activists’
Four ‘democracy activists’ in Vietnam were sentenced to long prison terms for subversion. The four dissidents are advocating social change through non-violent means.
Russia: Editor Of Major Newspaper Says Police Treats Internet As Traditional Media
Commenting on the recent arrest of a former Russian police officer who used a video blog to expose police corruption in the country, an editor of a major Russian newspaper “Vedomosti” said that Russian police “treats Internet as an extension of traditional media and fights bloggers as they do journalists.”
Iran: Iranians commemorate Neda's birthday
Iranians inside and outside the country remembered Neda Soltan's birthday. Neda was shot dead by Basij militia on June 20, 2009, during a protest against the presidential election results that declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad president. Her death was captured on video and uploaded to the Internet. She died with her eyes wide open, and her last moments transcended citizen media to mainstream media, reaching millions of people.
Sri Lanka: Political Reporter And Cartoonist Missing In Colombo
Journalists For Democracy In Sri Lanka blog informs that a political reporter and cartoonist is missing in Colombo on the eve of the presidential elections. Prageeth Ekneliyagoda has disappeared yesterday night (24th of January).
China: War of Internet Addiction
DigiCha introduces an online video called “War of Internet Addiction” which a satire on the government’s attempt to “harmonize” China’s Internet with forced installations of “Green Dam Youth Escort” and the travails of Chinese World of Warcraft players over the last several months.