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· January, 2021

Stories about Freedom of Speech from January, 2021

WATCH: ‘The Milk Tea Alliance'—Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong's unified fight for democracy’

Missed the live-stream of the Global Voices Insights webinar on the "Milk Tea Alliance"? Here's a replay.

Google’s plans for Saudi-based Cloud is ‘dangerous,’ says digital rights advocacy group

"With data stored in Saudi Arabia, Google and Snap will find themselves with little ability to resist government demands for users’ personal information."

Critics warn Malaysia’s state of emergency could undermine democracy

"Members of the public should not be treated as enemies and be dealt with by military personnel."

Thai woman receives 43-year sentence for sharing audio clips ‘defaming’ the monarchy

"Although her sentence was reduced to 43 years, it’s still too harsh & unnecessary cruel. Should a defamation case land someone several decades in jail?"

A Zimbabwean journalist, two opposition politicians jailed for tweets about police brutality

Hopewell Chin’ono, Job Sikhala and Fadzai Mahere were arrested for tweeting about a police officer who allegedly beat a baby to death while enforcing COVID-19 regulations.

Join us LIVE on January 29 for ‘The Milk Tea Alliance: Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong's unified fight for democracy’

Join us for a lively discussion about the impact of the transnational youth protest movement which united countries in Asia in the fight for democracy.

Chinese-Australian cartoonist Badiucao walks a fine line to avoid being politically hijacked

For Badiucao, the best way to spread the message of universal human rights is through his art, but even within Australia's Chinese communities, the narratives are both complex and nuanced.

Which colonial statues are being torn down in Latina America?

For many, destroying statues is another way to demolish, symbolically, the ideas of oppression, slavery and colonialism.

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.  

Kenya must implement data protection law before 2022 presidential election

Kenya must act quickly to enforce its new data protection law. If not prepared, the ghosts of Kenya’s political past may once again come back to haunt its citizens.

Want to learn to curse like a Russian? There's an Instagram account for that

A Russian journalist and a Canadian comics artist have teamed up to create an online Russian-English dictionary celebrating the richness of Russian profanity on Instagram.

In Guinea, President Alpha Condé takes his third term despite long-running controversy

Guinean president Alpha Condé succeeded in getting reelected for a third time by imposing a constitutional reform obtained in poll criticized by opposition and organizations.

Arab states’ reconciliation with Qatar leaves pro-unity Saudis behind bars

Prominent Saudis, including cleric Salman al-Odah, who spoke against the boycott of Qatar in 2017, face a long list of charges such as incitement against the ruler.

In Uganda, COVID-19 rules are ‘perfect instrument for criminalizing dissent’

In Uganda, increased criminalization of misinformation during the pandemic infringed on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information, especially targeting journalists and human rights activists.

Christmas, a time to campaign to free political prisoners in Nicaragua

For a third year in a row, Nicaraguans have pushed to release political prisoners, now estimated at about 100 people.

A digital artist depicts the lives of Thais and the struggle for democracy

"It’s time for us to rise up for a better future not just for ourselves, but also for the generations to come.”

Mass arrests in Hong Kong of participants in the pro-democracy camp's July 2020 primaries

A number of pro-democracy organizations and media outlets also received court orders directing them to hand in documents related to police investigations.

COVID-19 and shrinking freedom limits in Jordan

In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.

Singapore livestreams Parliament session for the first time but prohibits use for ‘satire, ridicule, or denigration’

"Reminder that this development was made possible because activists, opposition politicians, and the great mass of dissenting Singaporeans had pressured the government to do so."

Interview: Ex-Hong Kong lawmaker says education has become a scapegoat for the protests

Ip Kin-yuen, who is the vice-president of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, told HKFP that while the situation is very grim, he is still hopeful that 2021 could bring...

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