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· March, 2021

Stories about Governance from March, 2021

‘A day without internet is a day in the dark’: The Gambia's growing digital divide

In the Gambia, frequent internet outages and overall instability have made everyday life an increasingly frustrating challenge, impeding both national development and individual growth. 

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?

Billionaire Patrice Motsepe, the favoured FIFA candidate, becomes Africa football boss

The candidates from Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritania give up their bids in favour of South Africa’s Motsepe, and accepted supporting roles in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) hierarchy.

Timeline of the second month of military coup and terror in Myanmar

Images and videos of the brutality unleashed by Myanmar's military are widely shared on social media. Despite the terror tactics, pro-democracy forces are fighting back.

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.

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.

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.

Malaysia’s ‘fake news’ ordinance takes effect amid continuing concern over the COVID-19 state of emergency

"This ordinance strengthens the perception that the state of emergency we are currently in is a smokescreen to curb any form of criticism towards the government of the day."

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. 

Jordanians protest a year under a defense law with no gains, as COVID-19 cases spiral

Repeated government failures, shaky political managements of crises, compounded with the worsening pandemic-hit economy and draconian emergency laws drove people to protest across the kingdom.

Armenia's PM calls for early elections in June in bid to de-escalate crisis

The president has faced increasing calls to resign since November when he signed a peace deal ending the six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which many Armenians say disproportionally favored Azerbaijan.

Protests erupt in Bangladesh after writer arrested under the Digital Security Act dies in prison

Ahmed was arrested after he criticized the government's pandemic response on social media. He was charged with "tarnishing the image of the nation" and "creating hostility" -- all offenses under the...

Kenya police turn to Twitter PR as the arrest of a blogger goes against public opinion

“Somehow, the [Directorate of Criminal Investigations] believes that PR, and specifically ‘live-tweeting,’ will change Kenyans' perception without bringing about the much needed reforms within the force.”

In Tajikistan, online critics land behind bars as alleged ‘extremists’

In Tajikistan, several outspoken bloggers and activists have been sent behind bars and online freedom of expression is seriously curtailed. 

How India's new internet regulations will change social media, online news and video streaming

If failing to comply, social media platforms could lose intermediary immunity, which means they could be prosecuted for content posted by its users.

Sri Lanka reverses decision to bury COVID-19 victims on remote island after protests

Iranaithivu islanders objected to the Sri Lankan government’s decision to allow the burial of COVID-19 victims, following the reversal of a ban on cremations that affected Muslim and Christian communities

‘This goes way beyond brutality': Myanmar coup and the military's violent suppression of democracy

Myanmar protesters are being killed for resisting the military government. As violence continues to worsen, many are appealing for urgent UN intervention.

How COVID-19 ramped up a simmering hostility between Brazil and China

While governments around the world scrambled to secure vials of the COVID-19 vaccine, Bolsonaro refused to negotiate with drug companies, especially the Chinese ones.

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