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· March, 2013

Stories about Freedom of Speech from March, 2013

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As Liberal Russia's Secret Superhero ‘KermlinRussia’ Unmasks, Some See Evil

RuNet Echo  30 March 2013

Arseny Bobrovsky, the owner of a Russian PR firm called “Daily Communications,” would be a thoroughly typical example of Moscow’s “creative class” liberals, were it not for one thing: Bobrovsky has a secret identity. At least he did, anyway, until March 25, 2013, when he and his accomplice Katya Romanovskaya outed themselves to the world as the authors of KermlinRussia, one of the most popular accounts on Russian Twitter.

Brazilian LGBT Advocates Beaten, One Arrested

  29 March 2013

On March 27, a protest against the recent election of congressman and controversial evangelical preacher Marco Feliciano as chairman of the Committee for Human Rights and Minorities in the Brazilian Deputy Chamber ended with repression against LGBT rights advocates. On Youtube, Rodrigo Grassi shared the moment when one of the protestors...

Censoring Censorship in China

  29 March 2013

The above screen capture of a local news brief has gone viral on Chinese social media yesterday. It said: “Recently Myanmar has unblocked Facebook, the world's most popular social media website. Now only four countries in the world still blocked Facebook, including South Korea, Cuba, Iran and another country.” Other...

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Regime Critic Goes Missing in Tajikistan

  28 March 2013

An outspoken regime critic and leader of a minority ethnic community has gone missing in Tajikistan. The country's internet users have largely missed his disappearance. The reactions from those who have paid attention to this case show that xenophobic attitudes run deep within Tajik society.

Venezuela: New Wave of Online Threats

  26 March 2013

Several Venezuelan cartoonists, journalists, writers and artists have been the target of a series of threats through Twitter, telephone and text messages, according to news portal Noticias 24. They began after a number of anonymous users spread the victims’ personal contact information, said the Press and Society Institute in Venezuela...

Saudi Royal Advisor to Sue Twitter User

On Riyadh Bureau, Ahmed Al Omran writes: A member of the Saudi Shoura Council said today that he is going to sue a conservative writer for attacking him on Twitter. Shoura member Issa al-Ghaith said that “due to the escalation of offenses on Twitter and the necessity of legal action”...

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Digital Freedom: Principles and Concepts

The Egyptian Institute for Freedom of Thought and Expression issued its first statement on digital freedom, a simplified research paper to propose definitions for digital rights and related principles which the paper summarised as: universal access, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to privacy, and the right to creativity, development and innovation.

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China's Red Army Returns Online and Hunts Students

  25 March 2013

In China's Southern Guangdong province, a local University has been monitoring student conversation online and controlling their negative sentiment for the last 3 years.The news triggered outrage online; many think the university has violated student privacy and demanded a stop to the system.

Shedding Light on Macedonia's “Black Monday”

  22 March 2013

In order to shed light on the events of Dec. 24, 2012, when journalists and opposition MPs were thrown out of the Macedonian Parliament [en, es, mk], Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia (@fosim) published a study entitled “Black Monday” [.pdf: en, mk, sq], with testimonies of witnesses and participants and...

Vietnam Police Question Activist Over Article

  22 March 2013

According to a Radio Free Asia report written by Y. Lan and Rachel Vandenbrink, Vietnamese activist Le Cong Cau of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam was accused by the police of spreading subversive propaganda in connection to an article he wrote espousing political pluralism.

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Saudi Minister Threatens a Twitter User Online

Saudi Arabia's Information and Culture Minister Abdelaziz Khoja allegedly threatened to sue a Twitter user – for insulting him on the microblogging platform. The user called the minister a "remote control" in the hands of those with money and power and the minister responded that he could sue him, if he confessed his name.

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