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· February, 2019

Stories about Freedom of Speech from February, 2019

A steep price hike for passport applications pushed Angolans to protest

The fee increased from 8 to 97 US dollars.

How Saudi leaders are using religion to consolidate power and silence critical voices

''Oppression is a comprehensive system, and [in our country] it is enabled by religion.'' 

Journalists, teachers, and activists targeted in attacks on free speech in the Philippines

"These are attempts by those in power to drown out the voice of the marginalized...displaying Duterte’s fear of committed journalism that seeks to inform, educate and guide the public."

Singaporean activist sentenced to 16 days in jail after hosting video chat with HK youth leader Joshua Wong

"There’s no sentence that I’d consider fair, because he should never have been charged."

Tension between India and Pakistan mounts after terror attack in Kashmir

"amidst the political upheaval, some are urging the public to remember that when there is violence -- everyone suffers"

Facebook, robot vacuum cleaner and pro-surveillance politician voted worst privacy intruders in Czech Republic

The Big Brother “anti-awards” ceremony is designed to shame those who violate people's rights to privacy and data protection.

As Putin preaches ‘sovereignty’ and tech modernization, experts lament loss of online freedoms

As Vladimir Putin promises Russians a faster, more reliable internet, two reports by independent expert groups paint an unrelentingly bleak picture of more crackdowns on online freedom of speech.

Samoa arrested blogger ‘King Faipopo’ accused of defaming prime minister

"New legislation, based on old criminal libel laws from colonial times, forces Samoa leaders to look backwards, not forwards."

Kashmiri students face persecution in India after 46 soldiers were killed in terror attack

Kashmiri students face violence and discrimination after a terror attack that killed 46 soldiers.

Bangladeshi government targets world's largest Bengali blogging platform in porn censorship spree

The incidents of moral policing and the extension of the ban to a Bangla blogging platform and Google Books suggest that the authority's definition of “objectionable” may go far beyond.

Netizen Report: Both Bangladesh and South Korea are waging a ‘war on porn’ — and paving the way for political censorship

South Korea and Bangladesh are blocking porn and "obscene" content, Venezuela is blocking YouTube, and Uzbekistan has finally stopped blocking Facebook and VK.

EU proposal pushes tech companies to tackle ‘terrorist content’ with AI, despite implications for war crimes evidence

AI tools can assess whether a video is violent or graphic. But can they determine the video’s intended purpose?

Netizen Report: Will India’s regional internet shutdowns ever end?

Internet shutdowns continue apace in India, Venezuela's opposition websites are under pressure and Uganda's social media tax is driving down internet use.

Athan: A youth group promoting freedom of expression in Myanmar

"All lawsuits filed against journalists must be withdrawn. All journalists staying under detention including Reuters journalists must be released unconditionally. Defamation must be decriminalized in accordance with international standards."

Users flood Reddit with China censorship memes, balk at $150 million investment from Tencent

While Chinese companies regularly invest in US media companies, this makes for an unusual match.

Iranian environmentalists fear death penalty after a year behind bars

Public prosecutors built much of their case against the group from a forced confession made by one of the activists.

As India's elections draw near, right-wing leader is arrested for shooting Mahatma Gandhi's effigy

A right-wing leader creates controversy after shooting effigy of Gandhi to celebrate the leader's assassination.

Bulgaria's parliament and an educational institute named top privacy violators in ‘Big Brother Awards’

The Bulgarian edition of the Big Brother Awards is back as a means of shaming the worst violators of citizens’ privacy.

Censored on WeChat: A year of content removals on China's most powerful social media platform

Our team tracked censored posts from more than 4,000 public accounts covering daily news on WeChat. Here is what we found.

‘I won't stop': Kazakh man seeks justice for family caught in China's Xinjiang crackdown

UN experts say over a million people may be interned in Chinese "re-education" camps. But how many have died inside the facilities?

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