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September, 2021

Stories from September, 2021

Qatar urged to release 21 detainees held for protesting ‘discriminatory’ election laws

The laws, ratified by the Qatari ruler to regulate the upcoming vote, bars citizens who are classified as "naturalized" rather than "native" from running in elections, voting, or both.

Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

World Rivers Day may not instantly solve all the problems Jamaica's rivers currently face, but it may inspire citizens to be better custodians.

Socializing with extremists and ‘hoaxers': Tennis star Novak Djokovic's controversial visit to Bosnia

"This is not the first time Djokovic has caused controversy by endorsing deeply problematic Serb nationalist figures."

Is China exporting its surveillance state to Venezuela?

One of the largest Chinese defense companies has been pointed out for providing the Venezuelan government software to block access to the Internet and to spy on its detractors.

South Asia mourns Indian feminist icon Kamla Bhasin

Kamla Bhasin, a pioneer of the women’s rights movement in South Asia, died on September 25, 2021 in New Delhi, India. Activists remembered her on social media and mourned her...

Why did Twitter support Nigeria’s #EndSARS and not Ghana’s #FixTheCountry?

Although the reason is unclear, Twitter’s actions suggest an unwillingness to interfere in Ghana's politics as it did in Nigeria, even if it means not defending citizens digital rights.

Kazakhstan considers new legislation to hinder social media

New legislative amendments are poised to curtail the activity of social media companies in Kazakhstan. Ostensibly to protect children's rights, the restrictions could enhance government snooping.

In Turkey, a citizen sentenced to prison for insulting the president

Since getting elected as president in 2014, some "100,000 people have been accused of defaming the president," based on Article 299 of the Penal Code in Turkey.

Turkish students protest as rent prices skyrocket

In an effort to solve this crisis, a group of students launched the Movement of the Unsheltered, demanding lower housing and rent prices.

A veteran Hong Kong Wikipedia editor: “Wikipedia's policies are vulnerable to authoritarian abuse”

'Lock up netizens who are skeptical of the Chinese establishment, let the regime's loyal cheerleaders pass through the net... and voila you have an army of self-motivated propagandists'.

Preserving Africa’s musical heritage by combining traditional folk music with modern sounds

There has been a lot of renewed interest among African musicologists, historians, and enthusiasts to record, digitize, and archive traditional music and ancient sounds from indigenous communities in Africa.

Afghan refugees might complicate Ugandan politics

While accepting the moral imperative of accepting refugees, there are concerns about Uganda’s human rights track record and the US government’s continued dealings with the Museveni administration.

Critical thinking is crucial to progressive art: Bosnian musicologist Amila Ramović

Amila Ramović, assistant professor at the department of music theory and pedagogy at the Music Academy of the University of Sarajevo, talks about critical thinking through art.

Three Melbourne teenagers inspire public with their COVID-19 data tracking website

"[We] had our first dose of vaccine. Thought this would be a good time to share who we really are. Thrilled that we will finally be included in our data!"

‘New schemes of deception': Russian election observers report on the voting

"Of course, all elections are held with violations, but these were held with record numbers of violations!"

Quirky Japanese promo campaign launches new brand of rice, just in time for harvest season

The official Japan-wide launch of a new rice brand includes a quirky musical commercial, a social media photo contest, and feelings of anticipation for "new rice."

Reviving the Cree and Ojibwe languages of Manitoba with TikTok

Sharissa Neault and Noah Malazdrewicz make fun videos in their languages to help Indigenous youth who think their culture and language are lost to reconnect with them.

China in Ethiopia: Between a savior and an exploiter?

Whereas some online commentaries celebrate China’s help and contributions to Ethiopia, other discussions on Chinese projects tend to emphasize their exploitative features

Turkey’s Uyghur dilemma in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

As economic ties between Ankara and Beijing strengthened, Turkey's policies on the treatment of Uyghurs in China weakened.

Syrian migrants fall victims to “human trafficking mafia” in Libyan prisons

'The EU is responsible for Libya’s barbarism directly, or by turning a blind eye to its actions, as armed groups profiting from migrants are funded, and complicity in these crimes...

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