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· June, 2019

Stories about Freedom of Speech from June, 2019

Detergent ad causes uproar among conservative audiences in Pakistan

The advert ends with Pakistan's women's cricket team captain Bisma Maroof saying “these are not statements but stains."

Netizen Report: Conflict triggers internet shutdowns in Mauritania, Myanmar and Ethiopia (again)

Struggles for political power in Myanmar, Mauritania and Ethiopia led to widespread shutdowns of internet services this week.

What will it take to combat digital authoritarianism in Southeast Asia?

"Applied to the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia, digital authoritarianism refers to how the internet has been weaponized in aid of existing authoritarian regimes."

China's censored histories: The evolving blacklist on Tiananmen Massacre

The blacklist shows an ongoing struggle between those vowing never to forget and authorities attempting to erase this piece of history from collective memory. 

Myanmar disables internet access in conflict areas of Rakhine and Chin states

The government and operators did not specify when access to the internet will be restored.

Netizen Report: Lawyers seek court challenge against Ethio Telecom over internet shutdown

Pakistani bloggers face threats for online speech, Algeria shuts down social media and Indonesian police say they’re "cyber patrolling" WhatsApp.

Public pressure forces Trinidad & Tobago government to drop amendment to Freedom of Information Act

"...people should be very proud of a democracy that obviously is quite healthy—that civil society came together quickly and comprehensively as it did, and that government was sufficiently responsive."

‘Step down, Carrie Lam!': Two million rise up once more against Hong Kong extradition bill

Having flouted due process and ignored public criticism of an extradition bill amendment that could put Hongkongers at serious risk, Chief Executive Carrie Lam is paying the price.

Australia’s digital rights advocates and tech sector push back against law undermining encryption

"The new legislation directly targets encryption and basically coerces developers, device manufacturers and service providers to allow the government to spy on people’s encrypted data."

Netizen Report: Amid demonstrations for democracy, Sudanese civilians face military violence — and internet shutdowns

From Kazakhstan to Khartoum to Hong Kong, protests brought internet shutdowns and online attacks this week.

In Hong Kong, authorities arrest the administrator of a Telegram protest group—and force him to hand over a list of its members

A list of members of the group-- which numbers between 20,000 and 30,000 people--, as well as all the messages exchanged in the secure chat, have been exposed to the...

The Ivan Golunov phenomenon: a brief moment of solidarity and euphoria in Putin’s Russia

Many are calling for more action to punish law enforcement forces that fabricated the case.

Sudan’s democratic spring is turning into a long and ugly summer

"The worse outcome is the prospect of systemic military violence like Darfur, without intervention by the international community. The same folks are in charge, and we are already looking away."

A decree by President Bolsonaro could threaten civil society group investigating deaths under Brazil’s military dictatorship

An order ending Brazil's civil society committees has raised alarms in the Perus Working Group, which investigates human remains found at a 1970s cemetery in the suburbs of São Paulo.

Arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov marks turning point in Russian society

Golunov's arrest has galvanized a rare show of support from all sides of the Russian political spectrum.

Police raids on major media organisations expose lack of press freedom in Australia

"These continued attacks on press freedoms in Australia should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Freedom of the Press to scrutinise the Govt is crucial to liberal democracy."

Xi Jinping has muzzled Chinese social sciences, says French sinologist Chloé Froissart

As China's GDP slows down, and unemployment grows, the situation will get worse with the absence of any mechanism for social dialogue. One cannot rule out violent riots.

Publisher of Macedonian edition of Hitler's ‘Mein Kampf’ releases book by former PM Nikola Gruevski

Gruveski led North Macedonia's right-wing government from 2006 to 2017, a period of sharp democratic decline.

Tiananmen commemorations: an inconvenient truth for Beijing, a dire warning for Hong Kong and Taiwan

As many witnesses and activists asked: when will Beijing finally acknowledge historical facts? When will it apologize to the families of the victims?

How Beijing uses intimidation to censor the Tiananmen Massacre outside of China

"Beijing's intimidation does have an impact on shaping the stories [journalists] tell and the ways that they tell it.”

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