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· July, 2021

Stories about Freedom of Speech from July, 2021

Who’s trying to silence the fearless voice of Sri Lankan journalist Tharindu Jayawardhana?

One of Sri Lanka’s most promising young journalists is facing intimidation following his reporting on the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.

The Georgian Dream Party’s anti-media crusade continues

Following the homophobic, anti-journalist riots on July 5, the Georgian government officials accused of inciting the violence have gone on the offensive against journalists.

Hong Kong hands down first guilty sentence on terrorism and inciting secession charges under national security law

The special High Court's judgement was based on 'all the relevant circumstances' and the undisputed understanding that the slogan was 'capable of' inciting others to commit secession.

Russian internet censor blocks Team Navalny websites

Navalny's main website, navalny.com, as well as over 40 other webpages for Navalny's national network of campaign offices were added to Roskomnadzor's state registry for blocked websites.

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui who was killed in Afghanistan remembered and honoured online

Danish's demise has led to a range of emotions being expressed across fraternities, from respectful tributes to critical comments from his naysayers.

Government announces new media regulations that could further constrain freedom of expression in Turkey

A number of government statements issued this week in Turkey signal a further decline on media freedom.

Global investigation reveals Pegasus Project identified in Azerbaijan and elsewhere

Around 1,000 phone numbers belonging to users in Azerbaijan were identified, among them, prominent journalists, editors, rights defenders, lawyers, political activists, as well as their friends and family members.

Devices of journalists, government officials in Kazakhstan hacked and spied on

Journalist Serikzhan Mauletbai found himself on a list of people targeted by Israeli-made spyware the government of Kazakhstan bought. The current president and prime minister are also on the list.

Team 29, Russia's most prominent legal defense group, shuts down under state pressure

On July 19, after its website was blocked, Team 29 announced it was shutting down its operations in order to protect its staff and clients from possible criminal prosecution.

Street art protest in Kazakhstan becomes routine

Since Nazarbayev’s resignation in 2019, new protest movements in Kazakhstan have chosen street art as their preferred tactic. In this case, the target is a public utility hut in Almaty.

‘Courage is accumulative,’ said director of Hong Kong protest documentary at 2021 Cannes Festival

"This is a paradox, only if I stay in Hong Kong I can enjoy freedom, a freedom to overcome fear."

Hong Kong will pass a tough anti-doxxing law that may curb freedom of information

The internet sector has expressed concerns about the vague definition of doxxing, the extension of criminal liability to tech companies and their employees and the extraterritorial implications of the amendment.

State escalates attacks on media freedom and civil society in Belarus

Since the start of July, dozens of civil society organisations and independent media outlets in Belarus have faced law enforcement raids, searches and staff detentions.

Mozambican journalist receives international prize for press freedom

The award winner, Matias Guente "has faced a series of threats for his harsh reporting, including police interrogations, accusations of rape, state secrecy, and conspiracy and an attempted kidnapping in...

Twitter Japan appears to suspend government critics

Twitter Japan typically provides no explanation for the bans, or why accounts are restored.

Released journalists share prison experiences in Myanmar

"Without letting me sleep, they interrogated me for three days. I requested water, which they allowed me only on the third day. I had food only on the fourth day."

July arrests mark turn for the worse in Vietnam

Among those arrested were two relatively unknown individuals with hardly any history of pro-democracy activism.

Government-appointed rector removed from office in an overnight decree

After six months of protests, government-appointed rector Melih Bulu was removed from office in a late-night presidential decree that was announced in the official gazette.

Macau bans 21 opposition candidates from campaigning for the Legislature

A handshake with the ex-chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party was presented as evidence to disqualify Antonio Ng from Macau political office.

Georgia mourns the death of a journalist

Known among his TV Pirveli colleagues as Lekso, journalist and cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava, 37, was found dead in his apartment on July 11 in Tbilisi.

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