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· January, 2021

Stories about Governance from January, 2021

Critics warn Malaysia’s state of emergency could undermine democracy

"Members of the public should not be treated as enemies and be dealt with by military personnel."

Landmark ruling opens the way for environmental transparency in Trinidad and Tobago

Communities celebrate judgement that supports full access to the findings of Environmental Impact Assessments.

In Tanzania, full-throttle COVID-19 denial leaves citizens without access to public health information

Since March 2020, the Tanzanian government has gone silent on the coronavirus with no data released to the public on infections or deaths.

Thai woman receives 43-year sentence for sharing audio clips ‘defaming’ the monarchy

"Although her sentence was reduced to 43 years, it’s still too harsh & unnecessary cruel. Should a defamation case land someone several decades in jail?"

Why can't women be marriage registrars in Bangladesh?

A recent court rule in Bangladesh denying women to be marriage registrars has sparked heated debates as women and human rights activists question the basis of the judgement.

Protests mount over Israeli medical apartheid during pandemic

Israel completely leaves out Palestinians under its occupation in its highly successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, already covering over a quarter of its population since mid-December.

Dutch climate activists block Climate Ministry entrance to demand release of “Shell Papers”

The protest was a call for government transparency regarding the use of public funds and the state's connections to Shell

Sudan-Ethiopia border tensions mount in conflicted al-Fashqa region

Continual clashes between Ethiopian militia groups and Sudanese farmers in Sudan’s al-Fashqa region have put the Sudanese Army on the defense.

COVID-19, digital rights and Nigeria's emerging surveillance state

In Nigeria, contact-tracing apps raise valid concerns about the government's attempts to leverage this for future clampdowns on citizens' digital rights — long after the pandemic is long gone. 

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.  

Kenya must implement data protection law before 2022 presidential election

Kenya must act quickly to enforce its new data protection law. If not prepared, the ghosts of Kenya’s political past may once again come back to haunt its citizens.

Malaysia’s internet regulator deactivates Twitter account after offensive tweets exposed

"It is shocking that they violated Twitter's terms by acquiring an account of a person that had no shame with their racism, misogyny, anti-baldness."

In Guinea, President Alpha Condé takes his third term despite long-running controversy

Guinean president Alpha Condé succeeded in getting reelected for a third time by imposing a constitutional reform obtained in poll criticized by opposition and organizations.

Social media blackout, violent crackdown on opposition ahead of presidential elections in Uganda 

“Millions of young people demand reform and say their future is pitted against a small cadre of tyrants committed to retaining power at all costs,” says Bobi Wine. 

Ten social media posts that capture Latin American reactions to the storming of the US Capitol

"Girlfriends, what good are two centuries of gringo political intervention if not to make us laugh our pants off right now?"

Lockdown to shutdown: How COVID-19 stifled digital rights in Zimbabwe

COVID-19 and its subsequent government policies have had far-reaching implications on digital rights and media freedom in Zimbabwe.

Namibia's COVID-19 internet rollout impresses, but excludes and widens control

Namibia's tech-driven effort to bring more Namibians online during the pandemic seems brilliant. But most of Namibia’s historically marginalized native populations have been excluded. 

In Uganda, COVID-19 rules are ‘perfect instrument for criminalizing dissent’

In Uganda, increased criminalization of misinformation during the pandemic infringed on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information, especially targeting journalists and human rights activists.

Christmas, a time to campaign to free political prisoners in Nicaragua

For a third year in a row, Nicaraguans have pushed to release political prisoners, now estimated at about 100 people.

Pakistan's Supreme Court orders reconstruction of Hindu temple razed by a mob incited by Muslim clerics

A cleric of the religious right-wing political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was arrested in connection with the incident.

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