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· May, 2019

Stories about Freedom of Speech from May, 2019

Detention of Gaspard Glanz is a sign of France’s increasingly authoritarian treatment of journalists

The French government is increasingly using security and defense secrets as excuses for clamping down on journalists. The industry has pushed back.

Russia: Kommersant staff walk out in protest of censorship, triggering journalism ethics debate

The entire politics desk of Kommersant, several dozen people in total, has since resigned out of solidarity with their colleagues.

Right to Information: With its new law in place, will Ghana go the way of Nigeria?

Nearly two dozen African countries have passed Right to Information laws. But while strong in principle, many have faltered in practice.

China arrests filmmaker for retweeting an image of a liquor bottle referencing Tiananmen Massacre

The bottle label carries the image of "Tank Man" with the description "Never forget, never give up".

Papua New Guinea PM pushes proposal for social media regulation, citing need to stop ‘fake news’

"The fact is you can't control platforms were information is circulated, attempts to do such undermines the role of democracy and freedom that is enshrined under the constitution."

Russian website attempts to impersonate established news outlet covering the Balkans

"The purpose of publishing under the name Balkanist in Russian is to confuse readers at home, in Russia and elsewhere into questioning our sincerity, what and who we support."

North Macedonia vows to remedy injustices against NGOs, closes legal loopholes abused by former government

"NGOs were penalized and unjustly fined for mistakes they had not made," said Deputy Prime Minister Radmilla Šekerinska.

India's Lok Sabha 2019: Results are in after a weeks-long election process

People have taken to Twitter to vent out their anticipation. Many have taken the exit polls results to be completely reflective of the actual results and have started congratulating Narendra Modi.

Netizen Report: Amid WhatsApp attacks, advocates launch legal challenge against Israeli malware maker

Spyware makers exploit a security flaw in WhatsApp, Singapore bans false information and Somalia plans to shut down social media during school exams.

Facebook posts trigger more arrests in Bangladesh, worrying netizens

Two people were arrested on May 14 and 15, for comments they had posted on Facebook. The arrests have sparked indignation and concern on social media in Bangladesh.

Singapore parliament approves ‘anti-fake news’ law — will this curtail free speech?

The law gives broad, unchecked powers to government ministers to determine what online information is "false" and should thus be censored or corrected.

Dear European Commission: Don't let political parties use our data to manipulate the vote

Rather than protecting individuals’ rights, exceptions to the GDPR in some countries are limiting freedom of expression, eroding privacy, and abetting the spread of disinformation.

Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina: ‘Even in Russia, social media is still an effective method for uniting people’

Masha Alyokhina talks art, activism, and feminism in Russia -- and why a new cold war is coming.

Looking back at Feral Tribune, Croatia's doomed but legendary satirical newspaper

Feral Tribune was known for its impartial coverage of war in the Balkans and caricatures that ridiculed the nationalist leaders in former Yugoslavia.

The police were the ‘surprise guests’ at a fundraiser at Budapest's Auróra community center

Community center managers say the local municipality has been trying to shut Auróra down for years.

Is Stella Nyanzi ‘weaponizing the vagina'? Ugandan feminist goes to court in free speech case

On her quest for good governance, Stella Nyanza is "unflinching in her criticism of the Ugandan government" and unafraid to tackle taboos around sex, gender and LGBT rights.

Mauritanian blogger escaped the death penalty, but remains behind bars

Ould Mkhaitir was prosecuted for writing an article in which he criticised the role of religion in Mauritania’s caste system.

Despite the release of detained Reuters reporters, free speech remains under threat in Myanmar

"...the case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is proof that journalists are in constant risk of political reprisal for keeping power in check."

Mozambican journalists are released pending trial, after months in detention

Amade Abubacar and Germano Adriano were in detention since January, but were only formally charged on 16 April. Now they must await trial on probation.

Ugandan regulators order 13 media outlets to suspend staff over coverage of opposition figure

The Ugandan regulator says media houses that fail to comply with their directive could have their licenses revoked.

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