Gambian University Instructor Detained for Newspaper Interview, Then Released

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People waving in a protest against president Yahya Jammeh in the Gambia in 2017. Screenshot from YouTube video. Authorities in the West African state of the Gambia arrested political scientist Ismaila Ceesay and charged him with “incitement to violence” on January 31, over an interview that he gave to a local newspaper. He was released…

Exclusion and Judgement Won’t Solve Crime in Trinidad & Tobago

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Debris strewn across the road in Beetham Gardens, Port of Spain, Trinidad. The 2012 photo is by BBC World Service, CC BY-NC 2.0. Beetham Gardens, a low-income community within the area of Laventille on the outskirts of Trinidad's capital city, is a study in contradictions. It has a proud history of innovation and creativity as…

‘Buy a New SIM Card’ and Await Further Interrogation: Russia’s Security Services Detain and Question a Reporter

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Pavel Nikulin, a member of the independent Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union, pickets the headquarters of Russia's domestic security agency FSB, to protest against a colleague's detention. Photo by Igor Yasin, used with permission. When state security officers arrived at his home early in the morning of January 31, Russian journalist Pavel Nikulin learned firsthand…

Spanish Activist Helena Maleno’s Trial in Morocco Is ‘a Way to Intimidate’ Human Rights Defenders, Her Supporters Say

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Screenshot taken from an interview of Helena Maleno by Javier Sánchez Salcedo for online media Mundo Negro. Available on YouTube and on their website. On January 31, Spanish human rights activist and researcher Helena Maleno is scheduled to appear in court for the second time in Morocco, accused of participating in a human trafficking network…

Russians are Baffled by the United States Treasury’s Latest Sanctions List

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The White House in Moscow, the seat of Russia's governmentCredit: Pepijn Schmitz // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 January 29 was set to be a big day in the world of American sanctions against Russia. Earlier in 2017, United States (U.S.) president Donald Trump signed into law the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA), stipulating a…

After Two Decades, Will Ghana Finally Pass a Right to Information Law?

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Kwame Nkrumah memorial in Accra. Photo by Flickr user jbdodane. CC BY-NC 2.0 Ghana was way ahead of many African countries when in 1999 lawmakers drafted a Right to Information (RTI) bill that would allow citizens to access public data. But after nearly 20 years, it remains just that — a bill. It was presented…

Crowdfunded Rescue Saves French Mountaineer on Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat, but Her Climbing Partner Is Left Behind

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Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) is the world's ninth highest mountain and the second highest in Pakistan (after K2). Image from Flickr by Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi. CC BY-SA 2.0. The world's mountaineering community managed to crowdfund enough money to finance a rescue mission for French climber Elisabeth Revol, who had been scaling Pakistan's Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain…

Myanmar Digital Activists Come Together to Protect People’s Rights Online at #DigitalRightsMM

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Photo taken from Phandeeyar's Twitter. Used with permission. Since 2011, Myanmar's mobile penetration rate has soared from 2.5 percent to more than 90 percent, bringing millions of citizens online as the country transitioned from military dictatorship to constitutional democracy. The sudden burst of connectivity enabled by market liberalization was met with major challenges: the need…

The ‘Girls of Enghelab Street’ Protest Iran’s Compulsory Hijab Laws

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Women in hijab protests on Monday January 30. Mashup up of #دختران_خیابان_انقلاب images from Omid Memarian's Twitter post. On Saturday 27 January, Vida Movahed, the first woman arrested for taking off her hijab on Tehran's Enghelab Street (enghelab meaning ‘revolution’ in English) in a viral social media photo, was released from prison. By Monday 29 January a…

Meet ‘Uyatman’, the Kazakh Superhero out to Stop Women Behaving Indecently

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Uyatman, a superhero satirizing the real-life moral guardians in Kazakhstan. (Illustration by Murat Dilmanov. Published on EurasiaNet.org) The following is a partner post from EurasiaNet.org written by Almaz Kumenov. Republished with permission. A new superhero called Uyatman appeared on the scene in Kazakhstan a couple of years back. As long as Uyatman was on patrol, the public could rest…

Since 2016, Myanmar Courts Have Convicted 100% of People Charged Under Telecom Law 66 (d)

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Journalist Wunna Tun (left) in conversation with poet and activist Maung Saungkha at the Myanmar Digital Rights Forum 2018 In 2016-17, every person charged under Section 66 (d) of Myanmar's Telecommunications Law was convicted and sentenced to prison. The notorious Section 66(d) provides for up to three years in prison for “extorting, coercing, restraining wrongfully, defaming, disturbing,…

Who Is Responsible for Ending Sexual Violence in Somalia?

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Internal Displaced Women at Madina Camp. Photo by Faaris Adam In October 2017, 16-year-old Faiza Mohamed Abdi was shot in the “pelvic area” for declining the sexual advances of her attacker in the port town of Bosaso, Somalia. Abdi was brutally wounded by Abdikadir Warsame, a solider with the security forces in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of…

Uzbekistan and its Migrants: A Tale of Two Presidents

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Map of Central Asia. More than fifty migrants from Uzbekistan (red) died in a bus fire in Kazakhstan (green) en route to Russia on January 18. Author: Cacahuate. Own work based on the blank world map. CC 2.0. Citizens from Uzbekistan represent one of the largest migrant communities in Russia and play a major role…

VIDEO: Man hit by train while trying to take a selfie in India

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A man in Hyderabad, India, inadvertently filmed himself being hit by a train while trying to take a selfie. https://youtu.be/j41u_07tDi4 T. Siva was at the Borabanda railway station on January 21 when he tried to film a selfie video as a train passed. He was hit by the train and South Central Railways Police told…