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Afef Abrougui

I am an editor and researcher covering the intersection of technology and human rights in the Arab region, with a focus on free speech and privacy rights. I hold a media studies MA from the University of Amsterdam, where I wrote my thesis on the implications of social media platforms’ content removal policies in compliance with local laws.

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Latest posts by Afef Abrougui

20 January 2017

Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say

Global Voices Advocacy

Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.

19 January 2017

Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary

Global Voices Advocacy

On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".

23 December 2016

Former Kuwaiti Lawmaker Sentenced to 42 Years in Jail for Tweets, ‘Insulting Saudi Arabia’

Global Voices Advocacy

Dashti is a critic of Saudi Arabia, in particular its war in Yemen. He is also known for his controversial support of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

22 December 2016

Assaults on Rights Activists Harm Civil Society — And Saudi Arabia's Progress

Global Voices Advocacy

Saudi Arabia's ongoing crackdown on peaceful activism is depriving activists of their freedom and basic rights -- and it's costing the kingdom the work and creativity of its brightest reformists.

13 December 2016

The High Cost of Algeria's Crackdown on Speech: Life and Freedom

Global Voices Advocacy

Will the Algerian government acknowledge the high cost of silencing its critics before more lives are lost or destroyed for a mere Facebook post?

12 December 2016

Military Trials of Journalists Cast Light on the Taboo of Criticizing the Army in Tunisia

Global Voices Advocacy

Laws allowing military courts to handle cases involving citizens, including journalists and bloggers, continue to hold back Tunisia's democratic reforms.

7 December 2016

Sudanese Government Targets Activists, Stifles Media Coverage of Civil Disobedience

Global Voices Advocacy

The civil disobedience action began on 27 November after the government removed subsidies on electricity, fuel and medicine.

16 November 2016

Omani Film Critic Sentenced to Jail Over Facebook Posts

Global Voices Advocacy

"As long as there is a human being exploiting a human being, there are revolutionary dreams, and dreams make the future."

4 November 2016

Demystifying Social Media Censorship — in Arabic, Spanish and English

Global Voices Advocacy

Social media platforms have terms of use that restrict several types of content including nudity, hate speech, and violence. But these difficult-to-define rules are always subject to interpretation.

3 November 2016

In Oman, Independent Media Suspended Until Further Notice

Global Voices Advocacy

Albalad is the second independent media to stop publishing of its own accord this year. Another newspaper, Alzamn, was suspended by the government last August.

26 October 2016

Morocco Unblocks VoIP Applications Ahead of UN Climate Conference

Global Voices Advocacy

"To avoid being seen as a police state during the #COP22, Morocco temporarily unblocks VoIP services," tweeted one user.

9 October 2016

WhatsApp Reportedly Blocked in Yemen, Mobile Operator Cites ‘Technical Issues’

Global Voices Advocacy

Censorship of online content has surged in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict opposing Houthi rebels and forces loyal to president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

7 October 2016

Tunisian Teen Risks Suspension for Denouncing Poor School Conditions on Facebook

Global Voices Advocacy

The school administration has accused Hamza Batti of engaging in a "smear campaign" against it.

29 September 2016

Kuwait Detains Activist Sara Al-Drees for Insulting the Country's Ruler

Global Voices Advocacy

The pro-democracy activist has previously served jail time for the same charge.

26 September 2016

Jordanian Authorities Impose Media Gag After Writer's Killing

Global Voices Advocacy

Jordanian authorities have banned media coverage of the assassination of Nahed Hattar, a writer who was shot dead on September 25 by a gunman in the capital Amman.

24 September 2016

Sudanese Authorities Use ‘Pornography’ as Evidence in Criminal Trial of Human Rights Advocates

Global Voices Advocacy

Sudanese authorities are using what they deem as "pornographic" and "immoral" evidence in a trial of ten civil society activists, six of whom are facing capital punishment charges.

20 September 2016

The UAE Has Avoided an ‘Arab Spring’ by Systematically Repressing Critical Speech

Global Voices Advocacy

Wary of an Arab-Spring like uprising within its borders, the UAE government launched an unprecedented crackdown on critics and activists.

8 September 2016

Algerian Court Upholds Conviction of Activist Jailed for Insulting Islam on Facebook

Global Voices Advocacy

Despite having his sentenced decreased by two years, Bouhafs will still remain in jail for expressing his views.

7 September 2016

Angered by Mobile App Censorship, Saudis Ask: ‘What's the Point of Having Internet?’

Global Voices Advocacy

Saudi Arabia, which already blocks WhatsApp, Viber and Skype, has angered users by blocking the messaging and voice calling app LINE.

5 September 2016

Bahraini Court Refuses to Release Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab, Delays Verdict

Global Voices Advocacy

Rajab faces up to 15 years in jail for tweeting about the Saudi-led war in Yemen and denouncing incidents of torture in a Bahraini prison.

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