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· February, 2015

Stories about Freedom of Speech from February, 2015

12 February 2015

In Putin's Russia, a Retweet Can Lead to a Jail Term

RuNet Echo

Even a retweet of an image or a republished post may cost Russian citizens unfettered access to the Internet—and often, their freedom.

One Simple Infographic to Understand Political Repression in Thailand

Prachatai's infographic lists some of the ordinary activities the authorities have suppressed over the past nine months. The junta's paranoia runs deep.

10 February 2015

RuNet Watchdog ‘Baffled’ by Twitter's Refusal to Block Kremlin's Opponents

RuNet Echo

Alexandr Zharov, head of Roscomnadzor, told journalists that Twitter "has consistently refused to adhere to the demands of Russian legislation, including those aimed at combatting extremism."

Turkey Cites National Security as it Cranks Up Internet Controls

Advox

Courts offer citizens occasional protection from Ankara's vicious war on freedom of expression and privacy, so government is looking for laws that bypass them.

9 February 2015

Bahrain Shuts Down Al Arab TV, Saying it Does Not Have “Necessary Permits” to Operate

Bahrain today officially announced the suspension of Al Arab satellite channel, which went off air hours it was launched, nine days ago. Netizens lament free speech in the country.

Ukraine Arrests Journalist on Treason Charges for Calls to Boycott Mobilization

RuNet Echo

Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba called for boycotting the latest wave of military mobilization in Ukraine—and now faces treason charges. Is he really a traitor? Internet opinion is divided.

Twitter's New Transparency Report Shows Massive Spike in Demands from Russia

RuNet Echo

"We went from having never received a request to receiving more than 100 requests for account information. We did not provide information in response to any," Twitter's report says.

8 February 2015

‘We Need to Be Careful Even of What We Think': Self-Censorship in Venezuela

AdvoxThe Bridge

"Since the start of the protests, I had been mapping online censorship and helping people use encrypted communication tools. When the police came, I got up, scared to the bone."

6 February 2015

Pakistani Lawmaker Offers Dubious Bounty for Charlie Hebdo Owner

Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said he'll $200,000 to anyone who killed the magazine's owner and $100,000 to the Charlie Hebdo attackers' heirs. Some are calling it a dangerous PR stunt.

Thai Junta Gives ‘Attitude Adjustments’ to Those Who Dare Step Out of Line

The Thai junta is summoning individuals whom they perceive as dissenters or those requiring an “attitude adjustment” for having different views. Three recent cases highlight this worrying trend.

Crimean IT Industry Wilts Under Western Sanctions

RuNet EchoAdvox

Western sanctions come at a high cost to IT-professionals and citizens in disputed Crimea, as companies like Apple and Google are blocking access to their services.

5 February 2015

Don't Let ISIS Crisis Hobble Free Expression in Japan: Petition

More than a 1,000 people have signed the online declaration. During the recent hostage crisis, some people in Japan called for "self-restraint" in light of criticism of the government.

Activists Demand Release of Palestinian Activist Abdallah Abu Rahme

He was arrested in 2012 while at a protest in support of Palestinian detainees and prisoners for standing in front of bulldozers bringing concrete to be used as road blocks.

Serbia's Prime Minister Drags Investigative Journalists Through the Mud Over Corruption Article

After an in-depth investigative piece about a murky public procurement was published, Serbian PM Vučić and pro-government media have launched a negative campaign against an investigative journalist network in Serbia.

Barack Obama and Russia's Puppet Assassin

RuNet Echo

The children in Altai are in for some curious February entertainment, as a the organizers of a local festival ponder executing or burning in effigy a Barack Obama doll.

4 February 2015

Stop the Music: Spotify Cancels Launch in Russia

RuNet EchoAdvox

Spotify is leaving Russia in response to the economic crisis, the political situation, and the draconian Internet laws.

US-Cuba Policy Experts Discuss ‘Deep Differences’ on Human Rights

The debate on human rights in Cuba implies a thorough review of the model of democracy in this country.

Who Do We Lose With Internet Censorship and Control?

The Bridge

"Through Internet censorship and control we lose an ability to be our own secret human – the one we are when nobody is around."

The Collapse of Media Freedom in Bulgaria

Advox

Bulgaria has slid in international press freedom rankings, and corruption and lack of transparency plague the country's media sector.