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· September, 2021

Stories about Freedom of Speech from September, 2021

Qatar urged to release 21 detainees held for protesting ‘discriminatory’ election laws

The laws, ratified by the Qatari ruler to regulate the upcoming vote, bars citizens who are classified as "naturalized" rather than "native" from running in elections, voting, or both.

The aftermath of #EndSARS: The Twitter ban and what it means for young Nigerians

The nationwide #EndSARS movement against police brutality which took the country by storm in October 2020 demonstrated the power of digital media when used as a tool for advocacy.

South Asia mourns Indian feminist icon Kamla Bhasin

Kamla Bhasin, a pioneer of the women’s rights movement in South Asia, died on September 25, 2021 in New Delhi, India. Activists remembered her on social media and mourned her...

Why did Twitter support Nigeria’s #EndSARS and not Ghana’s #FixTheCountry?

Although the reason is unclear, Twitter’s actions suggest an unwillingness to interfere in Ghana's politics as it did in Nigeria, even if it means not defending citizens digital rights.

Kazakhstan considers new legislation to hinder social media

New legislative amendments are poised to curtail the activity of social media companies in Kazakhstan. Ostensibly to protect children's rights, the restrictions could enhance government snooping.

In Turkey, a citizen sentenced to prison for insulting the president

Since getting elected as president in 2014, some "100,000 people have been accused of defaming the president," based on Article 299 of the Penal Code in Turkey.

A veteran Hong Kong Wikipedia editor: “Wikipedia's policies are vulnerable to authoritarian abuse”

'Lock up netizens who are skeptical of the Chinese establishment, let the regime's loyal cheerleaders pass through the net... and voila you have an army of self-motivated propagandists'.

‘New schemes of deception': Russian election observers report on the voting

"Of course, all elections are held with violations, but these were held with record numbers of violations!"

Turkey’s Uyghur dilemma in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

As economic ties between Ankara and Beijing strengthened, Turkey's policies on the treatment of Uyghurs in China weakened.

Behind Chinese Wikipedia user ban: threats, verbal attacks and election canvassing

The Foundation explained that the radical steps were taken as "some users have been physically harmed" as a result of the 'exposure of personal information to users in mainland China.'

Dissenting artist Ai Weiwei on Hong Kong: art would not be art if it cannot be done in the face of tyranny

'Art would not be art if it cannot be done in the face of tyranny… the artworks which fight for freedom are precious efforts of the human spirit.'

Retelling indigenous Tamang people’s torment and trauma through sacred seeds, handmade paper and slates

Nepali artist Subas Tamang uses the seeds of the Damocles tree, handmade paper from the bark of paper plants, and slates to tell the stories of the indigenous Tamang people.

From vaxxing to doxxing: The social media power of Nicki Minaj

After reporter Sharlene Rampersad pressed Minaj's relatives for an interview by implying their privacy would be more quickly respected by her local news outlet than by CNN, Minaj doxxed her.

Singapore’s The Online Citizen news website stops operating after government suspends its license

"The licensing regime is simply meant to strike fear in the minds of the would-be donors and subscribers to prevent them from supporting independent journalism in Singapore."

Ahead of September elections, Russia tightens grip on remaining online freedoms

Ahead of Russia's parliamentary elections on September 17-19, the state's crackdown on opposition groups, circumvention tools and internet infrastructure has escalated to a fever pitch.

Investigative journalism group OCCRP says it will no longer work in Russia

Drew Sullivan, OCCRP's co-founder and editor-in-chief, said their work in Russia at the moment would do local reporters "more harm than good."

Russia blocks popular website for worker complaints

Antijob, an online database of anonymous complaints about Russian employers, has been blocked by censors following a defamation case brought by a Moscow real estate firm.

‘If you thirst for freedom, seize it!’: The songs of the Belarusian uprising

The songs of protest that have become some the most vital symbols of the 2020 Belarusian revolution are varied in their origins and surprising in their complexity.

Crimean Tatar leader's arrest latest in crackdown on political activism in Crimea

The arrest of Crimean Tatar political leader Nariman Dzhelyal is a grim reminder of the reality of Russian annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

In Turkey, religious cleric joins calls to censor social media

Ali Erbas, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey suggests using Islamic jurisprudence to control social media platforms.

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