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· August, 2020

Stories about Freedom of Speech from August, 2020

Concerned citizens petition Timor-Leste authorities to drop planned revival of defamation law

"This proposed law is to protect those in power from criticism when they commit any act of corruption and any other acts of crime."

Hong Kong police accused of rewriting history to oppress political dissent

Hong Kong police manipulates narratives of mob violence to accuse political opponents of disturbing the peace and arrest them despite multiple video proofs of their innocence

‘Boca de Rua': The Brazilian newspaper produced entirely by people living on the street

Created in Porto Alegre almost 20 years ago, 'Boca de Rua' is the only member of the International Network of Street Papers entirely created by people living on the streets

President Bolsonaro flooded with questions on social media about unexplained deposits into his wife's bank account

Why, a reporter asked the Brazilian president, was nearly US$16,000 deposited into the bank account of Bolsonaro's wife, Michelle, by their long-time acquaintance Fabrício Queiroz?

Why women’s rights and digital rights go hand-in-hand on Namibian Twitter

In Nambia, a Twitter campaign to legalize abortion drew waves of attacks against feminist activists, but as a result, parliament has agreed to discuss Nambia's outdated abortion laws.

‘Uyghur pop music humanizes and amplifies their hopes': Interview with musicologist Elise Anderson

"Uyghur pop is a source of both entertainment and rich inner life. Another role it can play is in humanizing and amplifying Uyghur hopes, aspirations, and lives."

Islamophobic post on Facebook leads to deadly violence in Bangalore

India experiences another episode of real-life violence triggered by online hate speech.

Indonesian students expelled from school face treason charges for joining a protest on Papua

"Khairun University should support academic freedom and free expression, not expel students peacefully expressing their views."

Natives’ or ‘outsiders'? A mob attack in Meghalaya throws questions of belonging into sharp relief

The ethnic tensions of Meghalaya – and many more of India's north-eastern states – can be traced back to the 'outsider' narrative.

Thirty years after his tragic death, iconic Soviet musician Viktor Tsoi continues to inspire demonstrators

Even younger generations of Russian-speakers who have no memory of the Soviet period are enraptured by the story of Viktor the rebel, who sided with the people against the system.

An earthquake shook Tanzania. A new law prohibits citizens from speaking about it online.

Revised online content regulations in Tanzania prohibit talking about pandemics, natural disasters or politics without government approval. Is it possible to control essential online conversations? If so, at what cost? 

‘This is a partisan movement of a partisan nation': a Belarusian poet reflects on her homeland's turmoil

"The greatest weakness made visible in these past months has been how little the state knows its own people," says poet Valzhyna Mort

Building safer online spaces in Myanmar

“Facebook was, and continues to be, the favored tool for disseminating hate speech and misinformation against the Rohingya people, Muslims in general, and other marginalized communities.”

Human rights defenders and journalists under attack in Southeast Asia

The past two weeks saw several disturbing cases of arrests, convictions, and raids targeting human rights activists and journalists in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Upon his arrest, Hong Kong police raided the office building of his news outlets.

In Pakistan, a man accused of blasphemy was shot dead in a courtroom. His killer was hailed as a hero.

Extrajudicial killings of people accused of blasphemy aren't uncommon in Pakistan.

How the murder of musician Hachalu Hundessa incited violence in Ethiopia: Part I

In the wake of musician Hachalu Hundessa's murder, Ethiopia has struggled to come to terms with the violence and turmoil that erupted along ethnic and religious faultlines.

What will a US ban on WeChat mean for Chinese netizens?

While many in the West have criticized Trump's ban, some overseas Chinese dissents see the decision with positive eyes.

COVID-19 and China's information control policy

China’s strategy to control information and its consequences has become a global concern.

Another Australian university criticized for censoring voices supporting Hong Kong's human rights

An Australian university was criticized for deleting an article published on its website that urges the international community to put pressure on China for infringements on human rights in Hong Kong.

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