Stories about Human Rights from January, 2016
‘Hands Off Our Privacy': Polish Citizens Speak Out Against Surveillance Law
Poland's parliament adopted a surveillance law that would give authorities fast access to citizens' Internet and telecommunication usage data, without prior approval from a judge.
You Don't Know Noise, If You Don't Know Trinidad and Tobago
From unbearably loud music to illegal fireworks, one civic-minded social media user in Trinidad and Tobago is taking on the "noise polluters who yearly get away with decibel crime".
A Venezuelan Digital Artist Defends LGBT Rights Despite Social and Political Censorship
Who's behind censorship and why? What happens when old social norms around gender are questioned? Danial Arzola, creator of the campaign 'I'm not a joke', answers these and other questions.
A Tragic Suicide at a University Puts the Spotlight on Discrimination Against Dalits in India
"What happened with #RohitVemula should not happen with anyone. We can't progress until every citizen of India has equal rights!"
On Criticising Charlie Hebdo on Facebook, and the Perils of Selective Freedom of Speech
Did Facebook remove Efe Levent's post because he used the term "cracker"?
Let's Not Forget There Are Still Political Prisoners in Iran
“If this release signals Iran’s desire for international reconciliation, so too it must move forward with national reconciliation.”
An Indian Student Blogs About Being Ostracised and Bullied After Reporting Sexual Abuse
The female film student accused her professor of forcing her to have sex with him, but when she spoke up she said the student body turned on her.
Netizen Report: Keeping the Spotlight on Syria’s Independent Media
As protests continue in Ethiopia, Bahrain is contracting for new Internet filtering tools. Meanwhile, another Ecuadorean politician faces jail time for critical tweeting.
Saudi Arabia Arrests Samar Badawi for Tweeting on Behalf of Her Jailed Husband
Saudi Arabia arrested human rights activist Samar Badawi today allegedly for tweeting on behalf of her jailed husband, prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abulkhair.
Who Protects the Rights of Russian Internet Users? Not These Guys.
Russia's Internet ombudsman and Putin's new Internet advisor believe they have no business defending the rights of Internet users in Russia.
It's David v. Goliath, as Citizens of ‘Europe's Greenest’ Region Take On an Italian Energy Giant
Italian energy giant Terna SpA slaps an activist with a 16 million-euro lawsuit as it pushes forward a mega-project in Abruzzo—"Europe's lungs". Which will triumph: business or socio-environmental dissent?
‘Russian Ebola': Civic Project Tracks Russians’ Deaths in Police Custody
Almost every day, Russians die in police custody, often under mysterious circumstances. An online project called "Russian Ebola" is recording each death to raise awareness of the human rights issue.
Japan and South Korea's Historic ‘Comfort Women’ Deal Angers Surviving Victims
The Imperial Japanese Army forced women from across Asia forced into sexual slavery during WWII. The surviving victims and some right-wing Japanese politicians weren't on board with this agreement.
Street Art Urges Hong Kongers Not to Turn a Blind Eye to Missing Booksellers
“We cannot and should not turn a blind eye to this. Normal daily life is not normal any more.”
Pakistanis Weigh In on Saudi Arabia and Iran's Diplomatic Break-Up
"In the Iran vs Saudi debate we should side with New Zealand. Be as far away from it as possible."
Online Cultural Hub ‘Voces Étnicas’ Seeks to Revitalize Indigenous Customs in Mexico
Voces Étnicas is a platform that promotes the traditions and practices of Mexico's indigenous nations and communities through video, memes and an online library of legends, poems and stories.
An Indigenous Toddler Was Murdered in Cold Blood, but Brazil Barely Took Notice
A day before New Year’s Eve, an indigenous woman was breastfeeding her 2-year-old son when a man killed the child. The murder did not get attention in Brazil.
Inside Ethiopia's Self-Defeating Crackdown on Oromo Musicians
As government threatens and arrests Oromo artists while booting them off the airwaves, growing numbers are turning to the internet as their only avenue for self-expression.
Starving to Death: Images from Madaya, Syria, You Don't Want to See
Harrowing photographs of residents of Madaya, Syria, are making the rounds online, drawing attention to the plight of its 40,000 residents who are facing starvation and a slow death.
As US Steps Up Deportations, Advocates Push for Refugee Status for Central Americans
"It doesn't matter if you are documented. You have rights in this country."
A Young American Architect Helps Brazil Memorialize the Slave Trade
The wharf where slaves landed in Rio was recently unearthed and Sara Zewde has designed a memorial to the neighborhood’s tragic past.