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· April, 2021

Stories about Freedom of Speech from April, 2021

The rise and fall of Clubhouse in Turkey

After a brief few months of popularity among student protesters and opposition activists, pro-Erdoğan figures have now flooded the app.

As India grapples with COVID-19, Pakistan extends support, prayers

India's dire COVID-19 situation drew solidarity and support from Pakistan, its neighbour and longtime arch foe, as nations come closer together by the pandemic.

Singapore bloggers crowdfund defamation damages due to PM Lee Hsien Loong

"The contribution to the crowdfunding movement is an example of targeted resistance against the government's financially based persecution method against individuals."

Ukraine, Belarus commemorate 35th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster

For the world, Chornobyl symbolises the fragility of our environment and the threat posed by human activity. But for many in Ukraine and Belarus, it remains a personal tragedy.

Journalist becomes first person convicted over 2019 mob attack that injured dozens of Hongkongers

Bao Choy was found guilty of violating the city's Road and Traffic Ordinance by "making false statements" while searching public records of license plates as she investigated the mob attack.

Cuban artists fight repression through song, social media and hunger strikes

Internet access is opening up the island to new forms of protest against a government that has long controlled the narrative.

European Court backs Ukrainian journalist's right to phone data privacy from the state

Natalia Sedletska has been waging a three-year battle to protect her phone data from being seized by Ukrainian prosecutors investigating a state secrets leak that occurred almost four years ago.

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing camp wants to ‘get rid of’ pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily

The call for a purge of Hong Kong's critical press comes as Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 1 year and 2 months in prison.

Feminist activist in Russia faces prison term for ‘body-positive’ drawings

Human rights groups have labeled Yulia Tsvetkova a prisoner of conscience and have called on Russia to remove all charges and to "stop targeting feminist, LGBTI and other activists."

Russian authorities crack down on student journalism outlet over protest explainer video

Supporters of DOXA journal have called the charges against its editors "preposterous" and demanded that "all harassment of students immediately cease."

Herself a victim of cyberbullying, Lindsey Kukunda fights online violence against women in Uganda

Uganda media “promotes violence against women …. stories of ‘revenge porn’ are not written in support of the victim but as entertainment and blame.”

In Latin America, mental health can only be achieved through collective memory

"Our individual and collective history is not a static point in time and space, but a dynamic process that can be redefined and interpreted in another way."

Jamaica's spate of femicides raises perennial questions about the influence of dancehall music

The uptick in female murders has the prime minister chastising the perceived influence of dancehall music, and fanning the flames of an issue on which Jamaicans remain quite divided.

Slander campaign threatens Serbian civil society and independent media

Accusations of complicity in a coup d’état and assassination of the president, as well as death threats have been voiced against prominent civil society organizations, drawing European Parliament's condemnation.

Kenyan activists intimidated as irked citizens stage online protest against IMF loans

Using hashtags #StopLoaningKenya and #StopGivingKenyaLoans, Kenyans expressed frustration at the IMF for approving additional debt intended to fund a response to COVID-19. State intimidates social media users to quit dissent.

Algerians’ speech freedoms strained by media laws passed under COVID-19 pretext

As Hirak protests continue to protest unmet public demands, Algerian government uses the pandemic to restrain independent media platforms and people's digital rights through suppressive laws.

Turkish university students ‘can't breathe’ under police brutality

Police violence used against students at Boğaziçi University since the first day reminded many of US’ George Floyd death, causing his last words, ‘I can’t breath’, to trend.

For stateless and scattered Tibetans, a new online tool helps voters make an informed choice

The reliable online platform, created by a group of Swiss Tibetans, allows candidates and voters to communicate effectively, and although it overcame some challenges, others are work in progress.

Thierry Henry quits social media and calls for platforms to act against racist online attacks

Popular public figures are quitting social media as an increase in virtual racial attacks against football players prompts fresh calls for social media platforms to do more.

Israeli phone hacking firm stops sales to Belarus and Russia

Cellebrite, an Israeli software company known for making tools used to extract data from smartphones, has announced it will halt sales to Russian and Belarus state bodies and law enforcement.

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