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December, 2019

Stories from December, 2019

24 December 2019

Nigerian government orders release of Omoyele Sowore, journalist and human rights activist

Advox

Omoyele Sowore was arrested in August on charges of treason, money laundry and harassing President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. He has been in jail despite court pronouncements ordering his release.

8 West African countries rename currency in historic break from France — but colonial-era debts persist

Changing the CFA franc to "Eco" does not change the fact that many West African countries are still locked in a legacy of debt to France in its colonial-era deposit system. 

Kenya now has a data protection law. What does this mean for netizens?

Advox

Will Kenya’s new data protection law protect the rights of citizens? Or will it serve as a conduit to acquire, store and use data in the digital capitalism food chain?

In Hong Kong, local entrepreneurs champion the pro-democracy cause

Many believe that citizens' economic power is a potent weapon to bring about meaningful political change to the city.

23 December 2019

Latest offering from Russian cult novelist Pelevin divides and confuses critics

RuNet Echo

Viktor Pelevin's latest novel, a tale of 'weapons-grade memes', is creative but widely seen as overambitious.

Protests, internet shutdowns and biryani: 2019 in South Asia

Advox

Overall, our coverage in the past 12 months highlighted stories of protests and internet shutdowns from across the region.

Family members preserve the memory of a worker killed during Brazil's dictatorship

In 1979, Santo was handing out pamphlets outside a São Paulo factory during a protest when he was killed by being shot in the back by police.

Has Russia influenced the general elections in Mozambique?

Advox

The suspicions about Russia began before the elections with the publication of an electoral poll that gave clear victory for Frelimo.

22 December 2019

New documentary charts the RuNet's unlikely rise — and its fall

RuNet Echo

Twenty-five years on, Andrey Loshak's documentary series examines the ups and downs of Russia's internet, from its apparently idyllic beginnings to its uncertain future.

Sudan’s ride-sharing revolution needs better regulation

Advox

Sudan’s ride-sharing industry faces serious challenges: Labor rights, algorithm bias and data privacy need to be addressed for ride-sharing to be sustainable. 

21 December 2019

Abduction of human rights activist echos chilling trend in Tanzania

Human rights activist Tito Magoti's abduction echoes a chilling trend toward the disappearances of journalists, human rights defenders and opposition leaders in Tanzania since 2015 when Magufuli first took office.

After costume controversy at Miss Universe, Jamaicans celebrate Miss World win

The furore surrounding a Miss Universe national costume that played up the horrors of slavery is assuaged by the #BlackGirlMagic of Toni-Ann Singh copping the 2019 Miss World title for...

Inside the party membership scandal rocking Azerbaijan's opposition

For years there have been rumours that Azerbaijan's opposition parties sold membership cards to people seeking asylum in Europe. A wave of arrests suggests that the rumours could be, in...

20 December 2019

Masterminds behind Ampatuan massacre convicted but campaign against impunity continues in the Philippines

"The past ten years have galvanized us, fortified our ranks. After the massacre, killings of journalists continued. Fifteen of our colleagues have been gunned down under this administration."

Scenes from Ma'shour: On the brutal suppression of protests in an Iranian city

The Bridge

"In the days after the horrific incident, the stench of charred corpses in the marshes remained so strong that it reached across the city."

19 December 2019

Serbian fact-checking service Istinomer files criminal complaint after serious hacker attack

Advox

Istinomer has demanded an investigation that would disclose the identities of both those who ordered the attack and funded the technology that underpinned it.

Cultures clash after release of Trinidadian soca music video featuring cricketer Ali Khan

“In ‘Me Gusta’, Destra is trying to represent something global, and other cultures are reading it in different ways.”

Serbian nationalists want to build an extravagant Triumphal Arch in a Belgrade park

The initiative drew comparisons with similar architectural shenanigans by other authoritarian regimes in the Balkans.

Global Voices quinceañera: Spotlight on Caribbean women's stories

From public breastfeeding to fighting period poverty, here are some of the ways Caribbean women stood up for themselves in 2019. Part 2 of 5.

18 December 2019

In the frenzy over the new $100 bill, Trinidad & Tobago's banking sector reveals its disrespect for an age-old practice

As Trinidad and Tobago makes the changeover to a new $100 bill, the country's Banking Association president declares the age-old cultural practice of "sou-sou" to be illegitimate, provoking an outcry.