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October, 2020

Stories from October, 2020

Hong Kong police to launch hotline for public to report violations of the national security law

The new development indicates that the NSL will likely not target "a small number" of individuals, as Carrie Lam once promised, but surveil Hong Kong residents on a massive scale.

Tanzanian poll is likely to usher in a new era of authoritarianism. Here's why.

"Any resemblance that Tanzania has borne to a liberal democracy seems to be slipping away. Not only is the apparent scale of election manipulation unprecedented," writes Dan Paget.

Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia unable to vote

Ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia won’t be able to vote in Georgia's October 31 parliamentary elections. Georgia's government has no plan to protect these citizens’ right to...

Myanmar general election violence on the rise as November vote nears

Several election-related incidents of intimidation and physical attacks were reported in many townships ahead of the November 8 election.

Outrage in Hong Kong after top university appoints two mainland Chinese scholars as vice-presidents

Both men hold positions at Beijing's Tsinghua University -- and cached pages of Tsinghua's websites shows that one of them was elected to the CCP committee of his department.

Silencing the media won't stop the student-led protests in Thailand

"...while protesters rely mainly on media and other forms of communication to mobilize, these organizations have nothing to do with the students’ communication, coordination, and management of the protests."

In the heat of political crisis, Belarus launches first nuclear power plant

Next month, the Astravets nuclear power plant commences operation with fanfare. But in a country which suffered greatly from the Chernobyl disaster, not everybody shares the government's optimism.

This beatboxing Buddhist monk from Japan is making music to ‘reduce suffering’

Yogetsu Asakusa combines beatboxing beats with traditional Buddhist sutras.

The importance of ‘unlearning’ the past: Interview with Balkans expert Keith Brown

"Critical thinking [...] liberates us from the illusion that figures in the past imagined their own identity in terms of the nationalisms of their future."

Internet throttling, SMS blocking in days leading up to election in Tanzania

With just 24 hours before election day, internet users in Tanzania and Zanzibar, have reported widespread limited access to internet services including social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and...

Nepali literature lovers take respite from COVID-19 by celebrating Dashain with new books

"I'm ready to travel to places where I don’t need corona travel guidance and information. Hoping the pages will transport me to different time zones and destinations."

How Facebook derailed Nigeria’s #EndSARS movement

Online free speech advocates insist that Facebook’s flagging of #EndSARS content was neither a “mistake” nor a “bug,” but rather due to sparse investment in content moderation. 

Under Amsterdam’s grey skies, Bolivians cheer Luis Arce’s presidential win

“All of us Latin Americans have to come together to fight imperialism."

Two Tanzanian musicians turn to opposition politics to improve their communities

Two musicians get political in this year's general elections in Tanzania. "As a musician, I'm the voice of the people ... getting into politics [allows me] to bring real change."

More than one million voters in Myanmar disenfranchised after government cancels elections in conflict areas

"There are suspicions over whether the government is trying to reduce ethnic parties’ power."

Hong Kong teachers self-censor as authorities target classrooms

One respondent said in a survey that they have received a complaint from a student's parents simply for wearing a black mask.

From Belarus to Thailand, Hong Kong’s spirit of resistance is nurturing grassroots protests elsewhere

While Hong Kong protests have influenced organisational and protest tactics in anti-authoritarian movements abroad, the current wave of grassroots uprisings, in turn, prompts Hongkongers to develop a transnational solidarity.

Venezuelan tanker deemed ‘stable’, but Trinidad & Tobago recommends hastening the transfer of oil

A potential oil spill in the area, environmentalists say, would be disastrous for both marine ecosystems and livelihoods.

President Buhari’s contempt for Nigerian youth-led #EndSARS movement

President Buhari emphasized state power over the human rights demands of citizens. “As far as Buhari was concerned, the youths who were killed at Lekki did not count for anything.”

Myanmar 2020 election: ‘A critical moment in the consolidation of democratic transition’

"Transparency and frequent consultation with political parties, candidates and other stakeholders are crucial to the acceptance of the results."

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