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Stories about Freedom of Speech

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.

‘Aurat March’ organizers face intimidation and threats of prosecution in Pakistan

The organizers of this year's Aurat March (Women's March) in Pakistan faced disinformation campaigns, threats from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and were even accused of blasphemy.

Artists ‘raise three fingers’ in support of Myanmar protesters

"When we see somebody, and we raise three fingers, we know the movement is still alive. There is still hope."

Belarus banned from 2021 Eurovision contest for controversial song lyrics

The European Broadcasting Union found Belarus to be "in breach of the rules of the competition that ensure the Contest is not instrumentalized or brought into disrepute."

The Gambia’s missed opportunity for digital rights reform

Gambians held high hopes for digital rights reforms under President Adama Barrow. But the draft constitution fell short on its promise to adequately protect digital rights.

The price of dissent: Women and political activism in Vietnam

Women "should think that our fight is not only against dictatorship ... It is also a fight to free ourselves from our own ideological constraints, from the prejudice that we...

Post-Magufuli, will Tanzania review its repressive online content regulations? 

Tanzania's content regulations are often used to undermine and clamp down on digital rights and freedom of expression. With a newly sworn-in president, will the government review these repressive laws?

How Hong Kong lost its academic freedom in 2020

Since the enactment of the national security law, professors have had contracts terminated, student protests were repressed, and a new curriculum will be implemented in all schools starting September 2021.

Ukrainian Central Election Commission official resigns after criticism over Facebook sex toys post

Anzhela Yeremenko faced a barrage of judgmental comments after blogging about a faulty vibrator on her personal Facebook page, igniting a discussion about the line between impropriety and professionalism.

Cancellation of conference on 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh War of Liberation sparks criticism

The organisers gave no reason for the cancellation, but some see it as a worrying sign of the erosion of intellectual freedom.

My truth: The pain of being silenced in Cuba

"The '1984' book by George Orwell provides an understanding of the existing analogies with the oppressive Cuban society."

Transition in Tanzania: From President Magufuli to President Hassan

To some, Magufuli is remembered as a “true African statesman'' and pan-African putting Africa first. Other remember him as a “populist” president who promoted nationalism — above all else.

Increasing restrictions by Morocco against activists of Western Sahara

After decades of peace between Sahrawis and Morocco, November clashes ended Polisario's commitment to the 1991 agreement and spurred Morocco's clampdown on the region, encouraged by Washington's recognition of Rabat's...

Pakistan bans TikTok for the second time

TikTok was blocked in Pakistan for 10 days in October 2020. Access was restored after the app's parent company ByteDance assured authorities it would bolster moderation.

Did the Ethiopian government use its COVID-19 restrictions to silence dissent?

The state of emergency restrictions were used as grounds to arrest a lawyer and a journalist last year -- both known critics of the government in Addis Ababa.

Chinese patriotic YouTuber apologizes after criticizing propaganda and corruption

"In our village, the forest land has not been distributed. It is so full of corruption!"

Sierra Leone’s new cybercrime bill could turn a phone into a crime scene 

Sierra Leone’s cybercrime bill could turn a citizen’s smartphone into a crime scene at a moment’s notice. 

The toxic masculinity of Georgia’s gangster prince

The sexist tropes parroted by Bera Ivanishvili tell us a lot about how gender and power operate in Georgia, and the incompatibility of celebrity with the real-world power of a...

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