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· September, 2019

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from September, 2019

24 September 2019

Russia's return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: Diplomacy or defeat?

Amending the Council of Europe’s (CoE) sanctioning rules to restore Russia’s voting rights in its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has divided democracy and human rights advocates.

20 September 2019

Netizen Report: Pro-government doxxing campaigns rock Hong Kong, Serbia

Advox

Doxxing is all the rage in Hong Kong and Serbia, an Indian judge delivers a win for internet rights, and Facebook debuts plans for its oversight board.

Serbian journalists expose a ruling party bot application used to manipulate readers’ comments on media websites 

Advox

Investigative journalists discovered that a mobile application linked to their country's ruling party IP address was used for automatic voting on user comments on websites of popular media outlets.

19 September 2019

China Central Television urges netizens to doxx Hong Kong protesters and reporters

The state-run TV helped publicise doxxing site hkleaks.ru, which targeted pro-democracy lawmakers, student activists and journalists in Hong Kong.

18 September 2019

Once hotbeds of political resistance, Czech secondhand bookstores are slowly disappearing

The few surviving "antikvariat" have turned into nostalgia museums.

17 September 2019

Rediscovering the riches of St Petersburg's Muslim heritage

"Muslims are not just guests in this city, but were once its masters and some of its earliest inhabitants."

16 September 2019

A professor's self-immolation puts the spotlight on the fragile future of Russia's minority languages

RuNet Echo

Many people discussing Razin's death seem bewildered that anyone would use minority languages in daily life, let alone die for them—an attitude by no means limited to Russia.

14 September 2019

New finance minister of North Macedonia faces sexist attacks online

The spokesperson of the main opposition party wrote a Facebook post about the new minster's appointment that was filled with misogynistic language.

13 September 2019

Siberians appeal to world leaders via YouTube to save them from coal smoke

RuNet Echo

"This winter, the whole world saw our black snow. We were gasping for air because of coal dust. Why do we have to live in such intolerable conditions?"

12 September 2019

As Ukraine and Russia exchanged prisoners, the RuNet reacted

RuNet Echo

The return of Ukrainian political prisoners might be a win for president Zelensky. But the decision to hand a key witness to the MH17 tragedy to Russia attracted fierce criticism.

Serbian member of pro-Kremlin biker club under investigation for assaulting a female journalist

Advox

Journalist Verica Marinčić was stalked and attacked by a member of the 'Night Wolves' biker group, after posting a photo of his car, parked illegally.

8 September 2019

Human rights—and an actual rainbow—take center stage at Bosnia-Herzegovina's first Pride Parade

Concerns expressed during the build-up to the event about possible violence proved unfounded. As one Twitter user put it: "So much pride and happiness today in Sarajevo!"

6 September 2019

Bosnia-Herzegovina to hold first ever Pride parade in Sarajevo on September 8

The parade is taking place in an atmosphere of threats of violence and homophobic rhetoric by traditional and social media, but organizers are determined that the show will go on.

‘I want a chance to prove my innocence': Formerly jailed Macedonian journalist denied retrial

Advox

The case against investigative journalist Tomislav Kezarovski is considered an example of judicial corruption during the country’s democratic backsliding between 2006 and 2017.

Serbian journalists expose anonymous doxing site's ties to pro-government media coterie

Advox

Istraga became notorious for its smear attacks against voices critical of the Vučić regime, including journalists and non-governmental organisations.

4 September 2019

Russian opposition divided over online ‘smart voting’ campaign

RuNet Echo

No Russian disillusioned with the country’s rulers has any qualms with voting against United Russia, but many are deeply uneasy about who this means they must vote for.