Journalists and Bloggers

 Under duress



  Dangerous Websites...

Website editor arrested in Iran


Link Here 8th May 2013

Iran flag The editor of an Iranian news website, Ali Ghazali, was arrested on Sunday after carrying a report claiming that a tape recording existed of the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, discussing vote rigging in the disputed 2009 election.

Ahmadinejad's office has strongly denied the report that appeared on the Baztab website last month. No tape has since surfaced.

 

  Dangerous Blogging...

Blogger arrested in UAE for online posts supporting detained activists


Link Here 26th December 2012

UAE flagAn 18-year-old blogger has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates, human rights activists say.

Mohammed Salem al-Zumer was reportedly detained by state security officers in the emirate of Sharjah and taken to an unknown destination.

He was said to have posted comments online supporting detained activists.

Last month, the UAE tightened its law on internet use, making it an offence to deride or damage the state or its institutions and organise protests.

Human rights groups have said the legislation places severe restrictions on the rights to free expression and free association and assembly.

The UK-based Emirates Centre for Human Rights (ECHR) said Mr Zumer was driving a car in Sharjah when it was stopped by security personnel. He was escorted to his home, which plainclothes officers searched for more than an hour, seizing a laptop and other equipment, it added.

His family told the ECHR that he was taken to an unknown destination.

 

  Brazilian webmaster gunned down after criticising politicians and police...


Link Here 7th December 2012

BrazilReporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that Eduardo Carvalho, the owner and editor of the Ultima Hora News website, was gunned down in Campo Grande, the capital of the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, on 21 November.

Carvalho had been getting threats since last year in connection with reports he posted on the site criticizing Mato Grosso do Sul politicians and police officers. Reporters Without Borders said:

We offer our condolences to Carvalho's family and friends. Those responsible for this murder must not go unpunished. It brings the number of journalists killed this year in Brazil to 11. In three of these cases, a link has been established with the victim's work while further investigation is needed in four other cases.

On International Day to End Impunity, we urge the authorities to investigate Carvalho's murder as thoroughly and quickly as possible, especially as there are indications that it was linked to his journalistic work.

 

  Dangerous Blogging...

Blogger tortured and killed whilst being interrogated by the Iranian state


Link Here 20th November 2012

Iran flagThe Internet Control Police, part of the Ministry of Intelligence, burst into the home of a activist and blogger, upturned his furniture, and dragged him out of the house.

Following eight days of brutal beatings and torture, the family of Sattar Beheshti received a phone call from the notorious Kahrizak detention center to come and collect his remains.

Zahra Sadr's, a reporter for Keleme.com, a Persian language media site, wrote:

Beheshti had been severely beaten during his interrogation process, with bruises and evidence of torture visible on his head, face and body. The political prisoners at Evin's general ward 350 ... described his body as black and blue.

Beheshti's sister told the Keleme reporter:

They summoned my husband and told him to prepare our mother. 'Buy a casket and show up tomorrow to collect his body' they said. That's it! We know nothing else! We have no idea why they killed him! We have no idea what transpired. My brother left the house healthy. He left voluntarily. Everyone witnessed that he was healthy. My brother never even took headache medicine. He was 100% healthy!

Beheshti had a long time history of resistance to Iran's brutal media censorship. He was detained in 1999 for taking part in activism.

 

  Cao Haibo...

Eight years in Chinese jail for writing pro-democracy articles


Link Here 16th November 2012

China flagA Chinese internet cafe worker who posted pro-democracy articles online has been sentenced to eight years in prison, his lawyer says.

A court in the south-western city of Kunming jailed 27-year-old Cao Haibo for subversion of state power , said his lawyer, Ma Xiaopeng.

Cao was detained at his home in Yancheng in October last year after he set up a website and online chat groups advocating democracy and constitutional government, said Human Rights in China.

His trial was held in secret in May because the Kunming Intermediate People's Court said it involved state secrets, his wife, Zhang Nian, said.

 

 Update: Extreme Repression...

Three bloggers handed extreme sentences for blogs critical of the government


Link Here 1st October 2012  full story: Blogging in Vietnam...Bloggers under duress in Vietnam

Vietnam flag The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the harsh prison sentences handed down today to three prominent Vietnamese online journalists convicted of anti-state charges.

In a widening crackdown on press and Internet freedoms, Vietnamese courts have sentenced six journalists and bloggers to prison in the last five weeks.

A Ho Chi Minh Court sentenced Nguyen Van Hai, who writes under the blog name Dieu Cay, to 12 years, according to news reports. Ta Phong Tan, a former policewoman who maintained a blog known as Justice and Truth, was sentenced to 10 years, and Phan Thanh Hai, who wrote under the penname Anh Ba Saigon, was given four years, news reports said. All had posted blog entries deemed critical of the Communist Party-dominated government, the reports said.

Today's sentences, imposed against three online journalists who were merely expressing critical opinions, mark a new low point for press freedom in Vietnam, said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. We call upon the judicial authorities to reverse these outrageous convictions and sentences and ask Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's government to reform its repressive laws in line with international standards of freedom of expression.

Update: Appeals denied

30th December 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.u

An appeals court in Vietnam has upheld the sentences of two prominent bloggers jailed in September for anti-state propaganda , a lawyer has told the BBC.

The court ruled that the sentences and convictions of writer Nguyen Van Hai and former policewoman Ta Phong Tan should not be overturned. 

Nguyen Van Hai and Ta Phong Tan received 12 and 10 years in jail respectively after a brief trial.

In a separate development, another top blogger has been arrested. Le Quoc Quan, one of Vietnam's best-known dissidents, was arrested on Thursday on charges of tax evasion, state media reports say.

 

 Update: The People's Journalism...

Vietnam target three blogs critical of the government


Link Here 21st September 2012  full story: Blogging in Vietnam...Bloggers under duress in Vietnam

Vietnam flagVietnam's communist rulers have ordered a crackdown on anti-government blogs, two of which immediately pledged defiance against the one-party state.

The government does not allow freedom of expression or a free media and claims that public criticism or even discussion about its failings could lead to social instability and ultimately loss of power. It labels democracy and free speech activists as terrorists .

A government statement named three blogs it accused of publishing distorted and fabricated articles against the leadership. Vietnamese state employees were forbidden from visiting the sites and prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung ordered police to investigate the sites and arrest any offending bloggers

Reaction was swift from two of the named sites, which feature posts by mostly anonymous contributors that criticise government corruption and alleged human rights abuses. Danlambao, or the People's Journalism Blog, said it would keep publishing.

Reporters Without Borders says there are currently at least five journalists and 19 bloggers being held on various charges in Vietnam.

 

 Offsite Article: Vietnam's blog shame...


Link Here 6th August 2012  full story: Blogging in Vietnam...Bloggers under duress in Vietnam
As a mother dies in protest at her daughter's detention, it's time for Britain to take a stand. By Kamila Shamsie

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

 Campaign: Hunger Strike...

Campaigning for Syrian bloggers under duress


Link Here 16th July 2012  full story: Free Tariq...Syrian blogger jailed

hussein ghrer campaign logoAs a headline from Reporters Without Borders stated today, the number of citizen journalists killed or arrested in Syria rises daily. While some, such as Razan Ghazzawi, who won Frontline Defenders' award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, have received ample international attention for their plight, many others have gone largely ignored by the media.

There is a new campaign centered on blogger Hussein Ghrer, who was arrested along with other bloggers and colleagues, including Ghazzawi, in a raid on the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in February and is still in prison. The campaign, which is available in several languages, aims to draw attention to Ghrer's announcement of an indefinite hunger strike to demand his unconditional release. Ghrer's nearly five-month long detention exceeds the maximum legal limits for incarceration without referral to court, which under Syrian law is 60 days.

Though the campaign is focused on Ghrer, Syrian blogger Yazan Badran wrote recently: Make no mistake, #FreeRazan, #FreeBassel or #FreeHussein, all mean the same thing: We want them back, we want them all. The target of these campaigns is to raise awareness, as several bloggers who have been detained and then released from Syrian prisons have reported their belief that the media attention they received helped them to evade torture. Activists have created several campaign images and are encouraging users on Twitter and Facebook to use them as avatars. They are also utilizing the Twitter hashtag #FreeHussein.

 

 Update: Anti-Citizen Police Activities...

Vietnams police arrest bloggers over reporting an anti-China protest


Link Here 16th July 2012  full story: Blogging in Vietnam...Bloggers under duress in Vietnam

Vietnam flagVietnamese authorities must stop their harassment of independent blogger and rights activist Huynh Thuc Vy and allow her to report freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Huynh was briefly detained by police and threatened with anti-state charges, according to news reports.

Huynh was taken into police custody in Ho Chi Minh City while meeting with security officials about an earlier arrest during a government crackdown on anti-China protests staged on July 1. According to a Radio Free Asia report, officials had blocked several other independent bloggers from attending and reporting on the event.

Huynh said in a press interview after her release that she faces possible charges related to Article 79, legislation that allows for harsh prison sentences for vaguely defined anti-state activities. It was unclear if the potential charges were under formal investigation and related to either her blogging or protest activities.

Huynh, who recently met with a CPJ representative in Ho Chi Minh City, began writing in 2008 and maintains a blog that focuses on human rights-related issues. She said she was previously fined 85 million dong for administrative violations for using the Internet to send perceived sensitive information abroad.

 

 

Malaysia flagSyed Abdullah Al-Attas or Uncle Seekers who had been remanded under Malaysia's Sedition Act was released on 14th July on police bail.

He was detained for the 2nd time on July 11 for police investigations. He was earlier remanded for seven days under the Official Secrets Act for writing an article in his blog, uncleseekers.blogspot.com, allegedly slandering the Sultan of Johor.

See article from en.rsf.org

Reporters Without Borders is very disturbed to learn that the blogger Syed Abdullah Hussein Al-Attas has been held under the Official Secrets Act as a result of a complaint by a group of 30 people over controversial posts about the Sultan of Johor. A young woman who was with him at the time of his arrest is also being held.

Syed Abdullah's arrest is unacceptable, Reporters Without Borders said. Why was the complaint filed by 30 people and not the person targeted in the posts? Why did the authorities think it was necessary to detain two people because of what appears in reality to be nothing more than an ordinary defamation suit?

The authorities have carried out arrests and are now conducting an investigation on the basis of this group complaint, but they show no desire to investigate the documented information posted by Syed Abdullah. We insist that they explain the reasons for their actions, which are at the very least disturbing and suggest that his arrest was politically-motivated.

  Uncle Seekers...

Malaysian getting a police going over for criticising the Sultan of Johor and his riches


Link Here 15th July 2012  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

 

 

  Friends and Family...

Wave of arrests of bloggers in Iran


Link Here 4th July 2012
pages=wo_duress,mc/wo_duress
location=Sudan
thread=0

 

2nd July Offsite Article:

 Offsite Article: Arrests and Unrest...


Link Here 2nd July 2012
Sudan Deports Egyptian Journalist and Detains Bloggers as Protests Continue

See article from thelede.blogs.nytimes.com

 

 Update: Moroccan blogger jailed...


Link Here 20th June 2012

maktoob blog logoReporters Without Borders strongly deplores the two-year jail sentence that a Marrakech court imposed on well-known blogger Mohamed Sokrate on trumped-up charges of drug possession and trafficking. He was also fined 5,000 dirhams (450 euros). Arrested on 29 May, Sokrate was tried and convicted with unusual speed.

The trumped-up charges brought against Sokrate seem to mark a new stage in the Moroccan government's campaign against freedom of expression, in which several bloggers have already been arrested and convicted, Reporters Without Borders said.We are very disturbed to see criminal charges being brought against bloggers again.

Sokrate is well known for his defence of secularism and civil liberties as well as his criticism of the government.

Sokrate has filed an appeal.

 

  Tunisian blogger suspends hunger strike after progress from the authorities...


Link Here 16th June 2012

Tunisia flagRamzi Bettibi, a journalist and photographer for the collective blog Nawaat, anounced the suspension of his hunger strike during a press conference.

The conference, entitled, Give Us Back The Camera and Give Us The Truth, was attended by members of the National Constituent Assembly, human rights activists, and representatives of the presidency.

I decided to suspend the hunger strike after members of the assembly promised to take up the cause and to fulfill the demands. Our bodies' powers are limited, but our determination is unlimited, said Bettibi.

Since Mai 28, Bettibi has refused food in protest of the confiscation a week earlier of two of his cameras while reporting on the trial of police officers and security officials, including ex-President Ben Ali, for the deaths of protesters in the cities of Thala and Kasserine during the Tunisian Revolution. The trial took place in a military tribunal in the city of El Kef.

Bettibi's action soon triggered other online activists, such as Yassine Ayari, Lina Ben Mhenni, Azyz Amami, Houssam Hajlaoui, and Emine M'tiraoui, to join the hunger strike in solidarity with Bettibi's demands.

Bettibi announced that he got his cameras back under an initiative from the presidency a few days after he began the hunger strike. It is not because of the cameras that I started the hunger strike, but because of the principles that we stand for and we are fighting for,explained Bettibi.

Members of the Constituent Assembly requested the bloggers to suspend their strike, saying that they would take up the activists' cause. Among the representatives supporting Bettibi's case were Samir Betaib, Abderraouf Ayadi, Karima Souid, and Mahmoud Baroudi.

 

22nd April
2012
  

Three bloggers under duress in Vietnam...

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Vietnam flagTwo well-known bloggers in Vietnam accused of spreading anti-government propaganda have denied the charges, their lawyers have told the BBC, while a third has asked for leniency.

Nguyen Van Hai and Ta Phong Tan say they are not guilty of disseminating anti-state information and materials. However the third blogger, Phan Thanh Hai, admitted the charges. The trio are now in custody awaiting trial. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Lawyers representing Nguyen Van Hai - who correspondents say is the best known of the trio - and Ta Phong Tan say that their clients did not confess and did not sign the [police] interrogation paper .

Lawyer Ha Huy Son, defending Nguyen Van Hai, said his client insisted he did not violate Vietnamese law .

Another lawyer, Nguyen Thanh Luong, said his client, Ta Phong Tan always denied all the charges . Therefore, I will not ask for a lighter sentence at the trial because it would imply my client is guilty, he said.

A report in the Thanh Nien newspaper claimed that the bloggers posted 421 articles on the Independent Journalists' Club website between September 2007 and October 2010. The paper accused them of distorting the truth, denigrating the party and state.

 

31st March
2012
  

Ali Abdulemam, Blogfather of Bahrain...

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free ali abdulemam logo One year ago this month, Ali Abdulemam, a champion of free speech in Bahrain, disappeared. In an interview with an Egyptian newspaper shortly before he vanished, he recalled how a police officer had told him, I've been wanting to drink your blood since the 1990s.

His offense was setting up Bahrain Online, a web forum where, using pseudonyms, ordinary people could post views about the harsh policies of the government.

Despite occasional beatings and detainments by state security forces, Abdulemam, a 34-year-old computer engineer, kept the website alive. By the time of his disappearance, it had 50,000 members and was attracting between 300,000 and 400,000 visitors a day.

But government agents hounded Abdulemam even as he became known as the The Blog Father of Bahrain.

In August 2010, their home was raided. Abdulemam and his web team were arrested on charges of inciting hatred of the government. They were released after 15 days, but the following month Abdulemam was imprisoned again for spreading false information. During his detention, he was fired from his job at Gulf Air, denied a lawyer, interrogated and tortured, according to Reporters without Borders.

After national protests and an international campaign by online activists, the Bahraini government released him almost half a year later on February 23, 2011. A little more than a week earlier, thousands had taken to the streets of Manama, the Bahraini capital, to occupy the Pearl Roundabout and call for democracy and a national dialog between the citizens of Bahrain and the ruling Al-Khalifa family.

That was the beginning of the Pearl Revolution, marked by injuries to hundreds, shot with rubber bullets, clubbed, and tear-gassed. Abdulemam immediately jumped back into the political arena to discuss, publicly, the widespread Arab uprisings.

By mid-March, the government had begun arresting activists again. Ali knew it was his turn soon, says Al Oriabi. The last thing he said was, I will disappear and I prefer that you don't know where. He disappeared on the 18th March.

Abdulemam was tried in absentia by a military court in June 2011, along with twenty prominent Bahraini opposition figures. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly plotting an anti-government coup.

Both the Bahrain Defense Force and the Ministry of Interior deny that Abdulemam is in their custody and insist he is a fugitive.

The 2010 Human Rights Report from the U.S. State Department named Ali Abdulemam as an activist detained by the Bahraini government. There has been no further official U.S. government mention of him.

 

21st February
2012
  

Campaign: Threatened Voices...

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Tracking worldwide cases of bloggers under fire
Link Here

threatened voices logo As activists and ordinary citizens around the world are increasingly making use of the Internet to express their opinions and connect with others, many governments are increasing their surveillance and censorship capabilities and taking legal or extrajudicial actions against bloggers and social media users.

The threats to netizens are increasing. The Committee to Protect Journalists found in 2008 that 45% of all imprisoned journalists were arrested for activities conducted online. In their 2012 press freedom barometer, Reporters Without Borders cited 123 incidents of imprisoned netizens in twelve countries. Though the motivations of governments vary from country to country, the goal---to silence threatening voices---is the same.

EFF supports the principles of free expression laid out in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and believes that those principles must extend online. While our domestic work focuses on helping bloggers in the United States understand their legal rights, our international work focuses on the legal and bodily threats to Internet users in countries around the world. To that end, we have partnered with Global Voices Online's Threatened Voices project, which tracks individual cases of bloggers under threat or detention, to help shed light on this global phenomenon.



China    Web Activist Jailed...
 

China flagA Chinese court has sentenced an activist to nine months in jail in a prosecution said to illustrate the authoritarian government's unease about social campaigners active on the internet.

Wang Lihong was jailed on the vaguely-worded charge of creating a disturbance.

Her son Qi Jianxiang said the family would appeal because we think it is not fair. She committed no crime.

The charge stemmed from a protest Ms Wang took part in last year outside a southern China courthouse where three bloggers were on trial.

 

China    Missing Dissidents...
 

China flagChina denies knowledge of several cases of dissidents who have recently disappeared. These include an ethnic Chinese-Australian man who was an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, online, and a lawyer who was the focus of a report by a United Nations human rights group.

Reporters asked about two specific cases at a Foreign Ministry briefing.

Gao Zhisheng is a human rights lawyer who disappeared into police custody, nearly a year ago. The U.N. working group has issued a report accusing the Chinese government of detaining Gao, in violation of Chinese and international law. The group expressed regret that the government did not provide the information it had requested.

Meanwhile, Sino-Australian blogger Yang Hengjun has disappeared. Yang has not been seen since he called a friend from the southern Chinese city, Guangzhou, Sunday, and said he was being followed by three men.

In a February interview, Yang indicated that there is what he described as high pressure not to write anything online about Egypt, where a mass uprising forced the president to resign.

Meanwhile, news of the disappearances come amid legal developments in other cases, including the announcement of official subversion charges against detained blogger Ran Yunfei and a 10-year jail sentence to activist Liu Xianbin, who was convicted of subversion.

Update: Yang Hengjun 'Released'

31st March 2011. See article from rfa.org

Top Chinese-language blogger and Australian national Yang Hengjun has resurfaced in China following fears that he might have been detained as part of a crackdown on outspoken netizens.

His friend, Feng Chongyi, an associate professor in China Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney, said Yang had given a pre-arranged signal that meant he had been detained by state security police. Feng said he saw Yang's denial of detention as a likely condition of his release.

It's my guess that the authorities just want the situation to calm down and then will let him walk away, but he has to deny that he was held by authorities until he leaves China, Feng was quoted by the AP as saying.

 

China    Uighur website editor jailed for  7 years...
 

China flagTursunjan Hezim, Uighur editor of well known website Bilik, has reportedly been given a seven-year prison sentence.

The sentence was handed down for unknown charges at a secret trial in July 2010, but has only been made public now.

Hezim had been in detention at a secret location since 2009, after ethnic riots broke out in the Chinese north-western region of Xinjiang.

 

China    Cheng Jianping sentenced to 1 year hard labour for tweet...
 

China flagAccording to a Chinese Human Rights Defenders' tweet, human rights activist Wang Yi, real name Cheng Jianping, was sentenced to one year of hard labour 're-education' for forwarding a political satire post about the anti-Japanese Protest in Twitter.

XinXiang city Labour Re-education Committee. stated that she had disturbed the public order.

On 17 of October, Wang Yi retweeted a post by Hua Chunhui who satirically challenged the anti-Japanese angry youths in China by inviting them to destroy the Japan pavilion in Shanghai Expo. She added a comment, Angry youth, come forward and break the pavilion! in her retweet.

The police interpreted her satire as a public order disturbance and asked the Labour Re-education committee to sentence her to one year labour camp.

According to Xiaoyong tweets, Wang Yi has became an online activist since 2006 and has helped a number of human rights activists to raise funds and participated in a number of flash mob actions.

 

Egypt    Retrograde Petrograde...
 

Egypt flagIn one of the latest retrograde developments, a fine of 20,000 pounds (2,500 euros) that had been imposed on Kareem Reda, who writes the blog Sarkha, was upheld on appeal on 7 September.

The blogger was fined as a result of a suit by Petrograde, a natural gas company, that accused him of defaming and insulting the company, damaging its interests and trying to harm the national economy because he launched a page on Facebook calling on people to boycott its services and not pay their gas bills it as long as it continued to export gas to Israel at below-market prices.

 

Egypt    Hunger Strike...
 

Egypt flagThe international press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders is very worried about the fate of the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad and calls for his immediate and unconditional release in order to preserve the democratic nature of Egypt's political transition.

Freeing the first prisoner of conscience since the revolution would be a powerful symbolic gesture, one that the entire international community would see as a sign of a commitment to openness.

Sanad, who began a hunger strike on 23 August, is now refusing to drink and already has heart problems. Detained since March, his physical condition is very alarming and needs urgent intervention.

While Sanad's hunger strike is a personal decision, the authorities are responsible for the cause, an unjust and anti-democratic political imprisonment, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Franc,ois Julliard said. If he does not resume drinking, he could very soon die in detention and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would have to take full responsibility. Held for exercising his right to freedom of expression, Sanad must not become the symbol of a repressive and unjust post-Mubarak Egypt.

Update: 2 years in jail

18th December 2011. See article from cpj.org

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing of Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad by a military court to two years in prison and a fine for insulting the military and calls for his immediate, unconditional release. Sanad, initially arrested in March was sentenced in April by a military court to three years in prison.

Today's military court ruling hardly amounts to a reduction of the sentence since Sanad has already been imprisoned for nine months, said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. Sanad, who was subjected to the inherently arbitrary proceedings of a military tribunal, should not have been imprisoned in the first place.

 

Egypt    Defaming the Military...
 

Egypt flagThe Egyptian authorities must immediately drop charges against a woman blogger and activist accused of defaming the military on Twitter, Amnesty International said today.

Asmaa Mahfouz, 26, was summoned by military prosecutors on Sunday and later released on bail of 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($3,356) after posting messages on the social media network expressing concerns about the Egyptian justice system and the actions of the military government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

  • Asmaa Mahfouz is facing a military trial merely for posting comments which criticize the Egyptian military justice system and do not at all appear to represent a call to violence, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Director for Middle East and North Africa.
  • The Egyptian authorities' decision to refer Asmaa Mahfouz to a military court seems intended to send a message to those critical of the authorities that dissent will not be tolerated. The charges against her must be dropped immediately, he said.

 

Egypt    Three years in jail for criticising the army...
 

maikel nabil sanad logoA military court in Egypt has sentenced an internet activist to three years in jail for criticising the armed forces.

Maikel Nabil was arrested last month for blogs that criticised the army's role during anti-government protests.

The 26-year-old is thought to be the first blogger jailed in Egypt since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

Lawyers representing Maikel Nabil have criticised the conduct of the military court and will petition the head of the court to reverse its decision and free Nabil.

 

Egypt    Facing military trial for recruitment advice webpage...
 

facebook egypt army recruitmentFor the second time in Egypt an internet user is going to face a military trial. Ahmed Hassan Basiouny is facing a military trial this month after being accused by the military prosecution for:

Broadcasting secrets of defense via the Internet, and publishing news and information related to the Armed Forces of Egypt by creating a website titled Packing and Recruitment Management in Egypt and answering questions of youth applying to the recruitment

Basiouny created a Facebook page late in 2009 to provide assistance and guidelines on recruitment.

Hisham Mubarak Law Center, local rights group, invited [Ar] human rights organization to form legal defense team to defense Basiouny before the military court.

 

Egypt    Kareem not freed at end of his sentence...
 

Egypt flagAbdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, an Egyptian blogger serving a four-year prison term for inciting unrest and antipathy to Islam, has not been released despite serving out the end of his sentence, journalists and activists close to Suleiman say.

An organisation formed to protest Suleiman's conviction had expected that the Alexandria native would be released on Friday, but Suleiman is apparently still being held in Alexandria's Borg al-Arab prison.

The Free Kareem Coalition, a multi-national group of activists formed to protest Suleiman's conviction, had written in a blog post on Thursday that Suleiman would be released the next day.

Tarek Elfaramawi, a freelance photographer and resident of Alexandria who had been assigned to photograph Suleiman after his release, told Al Jazeera that the release had not happened.

Basem Fathy, a blogger and Cairo-based projects director for the Egyptian Democracy Academy, said political activists close to Suleiman told him that Suleiman had not been released.

Update: Released

21st November 2010. Based on article from indexoncensorship.org

Online free expression activists around the world are rejoicing at the news that jailed Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer has been freed and had returned to his family's Alexandria home.

Amer's four-year jail sentence actually ended on 5 November, but the Egyptian authorities held on to him for nearly two weeks extra prompting protests from Amnesty International and others. The Egyptian government which grants itself sweeping powers under the so-called emergency laws has a history of acting in defiance of its own judiciary. This includes openly ignoring court-ordered releases, or releasing a suspect and then immediately re-arresting him.

 

Iran    Another blogger arrested..
 

Iran flagNama Jafari, blogger and journalist was arrested. He was editor of a cultural site. He also wrote a book called a gathering in solitary confinement.

 

Iran    14 years in prison..
 

Iran flagIranian blogger Mehdi Khazali has been sentenced to 13 years and 10 months in prison, followed by 10 years in exile.

Khazali was arrested about a month ago and has been on a hunger strike in prison.

The outspoken blogger and ophthalmologist has been detained a number of times in the past two years for writing critically about Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the regime's policies.

Iranian authorities have lately been taking an even harder line against bloggers and people who use social media. Last week, they arrested two people who had organized an online beauty contest on Facebook.

Khazali's lawyer told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that he will appeal the sentence.

 

Iran    Hunger Strike...
 

Iran flagMohammad Sadegh Honarvar Shojayi, a blogger and cleric started his hunger strike on Monday.

He was arrested by the Prosecutor General on charges of conducting an interview with the reformist Kalameh website.

 

Iran    20 Years for Critical Blog...
 

Iran flagSakhi Rigi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for critiquing the 2009 Iranian presidential elections on his blog. He was arrested in 18 June 2009 and has received the longest sentence given to an Iranian blogger.

Also Hossein Derakhshan lost his appeal against a 19-year prison sentence. Known as the blogfather, Derakhshan championed the internet as a means of social reform. He has been in prison since his arrest in 2008 for making disparaging remarks about important Shiite leaders.

Both Derakhshan and Rigi were convicted of aiding enemy states and propaganda against the Islamic system.

 

Iran    Teaching Teachers a Lesson in Repression...
 

Iran flagHuman rights activists news agency, reports [fa] that Ali Pour Soleiman, a blogger and teacher was arrested in Iran a few days ago. He was a member of Association of Teachers and wrote [fa] in Sokhane Molem (means teacher's word) blog.

 

Iran    Human rights blogger jailed for 12 years...
 

Iran flagThe Iranian judiciary has sentenced Kaveh Kermanshahi, a member of the Kurdish Human Rights Organisation to five years in prison for actions against national security and propaganda against the regime.

Blogger Navid Khanjani convicted on the same charges as well as membership of illegal human rights organisations. He was given a 12 year prison sentence.

 

Jordan    Blogger attacked and threatened after criticism of prince...
 

Jordan flagJordan authorities must undertake a serious investigation into the stabbing of a blogger who wrote critically about the Jordanian royal family, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Enass Musallam told CPJ she was stabbed by a masked assailant while leaving a cafe' in the capital, Amman, on February 20. Musallam said a man in a face mask and gloves grabbed her from behind and said, In the name of His Royal Majesty and the prince, before he stabbed her just above the stomach. He then put the knife to her throat and said, Next time, you will be slaughtered, before pushing her down the stairs and running away, she said. The journalist said a friend drove her to the hospital, where she underwent surgery and remained for five days.

Musallam told CPJ that the day before she was stabbed, she wrote an article on her blog that said Prince Hassan bin Talal's comments about dispersing the protesters in Amman's Palm Tree Square were condescending and insulting. She has also criticized the government for corruption on her blog, CPJ research shows.

 

Malaysia    Dangerous Joke...
 

Malaysia flagIrwan Abdul Raman, a blogger and editor better known as Hassan Skodeng, who was facing a one year prison sentence and a hefty fine for writing a satirical blog, has had the charges against him dropped.

He had been accused of publishing online content deemed obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with malicious intent.

He had published a satirical article on his blog claiming that the main electricity firm, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, would allegedly sue the environmental group World Wildlife Fund for urging people to switch off their lights for the annual Earth Hour initiative.

 

Morocco    Corrupt Practices in Morocco...
 

Morocco flagIRachid Nini, the editor of one of Morocco's leading newspapers, has been sentenced to a year in prison and fined 100 euros after he was convicted of compromising the security and integrity of the nation and citizens. Nini had been held for over two months before the trial took place and had been refused bail three times.

A number of his editorials had attempted to expose the corrupt practices of the Morrocan government.

 

Saudi Arabia    Arrested for coverage of peaceful demonstrations...
 

Saudi flagTwo Shiite bloggers who were arrested for their coverage of peaceful demonstrations in Shia-majority area of Qatif have been released by Saudi security authorities.

The two young men, Mustafa Badr Al-Mubarak and Sayyid Hussein Kadham Al-Hashem, were arrested on 27 April 2011 when security forces broke into their homes and confiscated their laptops. Their blogs contained extensive coverage of their involvement in human rights activism and several peaceful demonstrations.

 

Syria    Syria's long list of detained bloggers...
 

Syria flagSince the street protest movement began in March 2011 in Syria, threats and physical attacks against journalists have increased. The list of detained bloggers and journalists gets longer and includes foreign journalists arrested and deported. Among the latest, prominent blogger and programmer Hussein Ghrer, who disappeared on October 24.

On October 27 Reporters Without Borders published a list that includes some of the journalists, bloggers and cyber-activists identified as currently detained in the country:

  • Qais Abatili, a very active netizen who was arrested on 25 September.
  • Nizar Al-Baba, an online activist who has been held since 21 September.
  • Malak Al-Shanawany, a blogger and activist who contributes to many websites. She was arrested on a Damascus street on 22 September. She has been arrested twice before.
  • Jehad Jamal, a blogger better known by the pseudonym of Milan, who has been held since 21 September.
  • Nizar Adleh, a journalist who contributes to many websites. He has been held since 6 September.
  • Miraal Brourda, a writer and poet who contributes to many websites.
  • Ahmed Bilal, a producer for Falesteen TV who was arrested in the Damascus suburb of Mo'adamieh on 13 September.
  • Amer Matar, a journalist with the daily Al-Hayat, who was arrested on 4 September. This was his second arrest.
  • Alwan Zouaiter, a journalist who was writing for many Lebanese dailies. He was arrested by intelligence officials in the northern city of Raqqah after returning from Libya. He was initially sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly contacting the Syrian opposition while abroad. The sentence was subsequently reduced to 13 months.
  • Omar Abdel Salam
  • Amer Al-As'ad, a first-year information technology student who also writes as a journalist for many Arabic-language dailies. He was arrested on 3 July and arrested again on 4 August. There has been no news of him since then.
  • Hanadi Zahlout, a freelance journalist who has written many articles for online publications. He was arrested for the second time on 25 July, released four days later and re-arrested on 4 August. He is currently in Adra prison.
  • Omar Al-As'ad, a journalist who writes for many Arabic-language dailies. He is also a final-year information technology student. He was arrested on 5 July and re-arrested on 4 August. There has been no news of him since then.
  • Rudy Othman and Asim Hamsho, two bloggers who were arrested at the start of August.
  • Abd Qabani, a netizen arrested on 8 August.
  • Ammar Sa'ib, a netizen arrested on 1 August in Damascus.
  • Mohamed Tahan Jamal, a member of the League of Arab Writers and Union of Journalists, who was arrested on 20 July after signing the Aleppo Appeal for the Nation.
  • Abd Al-Majid Tamer and Mahmoud Asem Al-Mohamed, two journalists working for Kurdish news websites who were arrested on 31 May.
  • Manaf Al Zeitoun, who was arrested on 25 March. There has been no news of him since his arrest.

 

Syria    Syrian blogger jailed for 5 years...
 

Syria flagA Syrian blogger Ahmad Abu al-Khair reported has been arrested. Security forces allegedly have also confiscated his personal computers. Currently his whereabouts and the reason behind his arrest are unknown.

Abu al-Khair is veteran blogger who started writing in 2005. His blog ملتقيات أحمد Ahmadblogs covers a plethora of subjects ranging from book reviews to comments on recent uprisings in the Arab World. He is a co-founder of the popular Syrian blogs aggregator Almudawen, and an administrator at Ektob, a blogging platform. Abu al-Khair specializes in media, and according to his Facebook profile he's interested in alternative media and citizen journalism.

The Syrian blogosphere is already buzzing with the news, and a Facebook page in support of him now has over a hundred members.

 

Syria    Syrian blogger jailed for 5 years...
 

Syria flagA state security court in Syria has sentenced a teenaged blogger to five years in prison for spying, human rights groups say.

The court in Damascus found 19-year-old Tal al-Mallohi guilty of revealing information to a foreign country.

Ms Mallohi's blog contained poetry and social commentary that focused mostly on the suffering of Palestinians.

 

Thailand    Thai blogger arrested for lese majeste...
 

Thailand flagNorawase Yotpiyasathien, a business administration student who graduated this summer from Kasetsart University, was arrested last week for his online blog posts. He is the youngest and the latest victim of Thailand's lese majeste law, and his arrest has caused deep dismay among many students.

Norawase was arrested on 5 August in Bangkok after a complaint was laid by Kasetsart's Deputy Rector of Student Affairs Nipon Limlamtong, who in turn was reportedly tipped off by students from the same university.

He was charged under Thailand's lese majeste law and 2007 Computer Crimes Act for writing the blog. Combined, these could lead to up to 18 years in prison.

The lese majeste law has a conviction rate as high as 94% and punishment of up to 15 years in prison for anyone who defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent.

The student was released on bail last week after three nights in Bangkok Remand Prison, when his parents put up a 1.6 million baht (US$54,000) bond.

 

Turkey    Armenian sensitivities lead to repression...
 

Turkey flagCem Büyükçakir, founder and general publications director of the Haberin Yeri website was given an eleven-month jail sentence for publishing a reader's comment implying that Turkish President Abdullah Gül descended from an Armenian family.

Abdullah Gül was the recipient of this year's Chatham House prize for the statesman who made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.

 

UAE    Blogger activist arrested over supposed alcohol offences...
 

UAE flagA prominent blogger and activist who called for democratic reform in the United Arab Emirates has been charged with possession of alcohol after being arrested last week, his lawyer said.

Ahmed Mansoor had received death threats online, which he said were for joining a petition demanding wider political representation and legislative powers for the Federal National Council, a parliamentary-style body.

Two other men, a blogger and a political commentator, were detained earlier this week, the lawyer for all three said.

The lawyer, Abdulhamid al-Kumaity, said police had told him Mansoor was charged with possession of alcohol, but he said there was no evidence he was carrying any.

 

Vietnam    Judge Blackens the Image of Vietnam...
 

Vietnam flagThe Vietnamese authorities must immediately release a French-Vietnamese blogger who has been sentenced to three years in prison on national security charges, Amnesty International said.

Professor Pham Minh Hoang, a maths lecturer who holds dual nationality, was accused of writing articles that blackened the image of the country by the judge at the trial in Ho Chi Minh City.

He told the court his writings were not aimed at overthrowing anyone, and that Vietnam needs to be more democratic, reports said.

To imprison a blogger for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression is outrageous. The authorities should immediately release Professor Hoang, and stop their harsh crackdown on peaceful government critics and activists said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Asia-Pacific.

Tuesday's sentence, and the continuing arrests of activists and bloggers paint an increasingly bleak picture of freedom of expression and association in Viet Nam, she said.

Professor Pham Minh Hoang, who is a member of the banned US-based opposition group Viet Tan, joined other activists in criticizing a Chinese-backed bauxite mine in Viet Nam's Central Highlands, which they believe risks causing environmental degradation in the area.

Update: Sentence halved

2nd December 2011. See article from indexoncensorship.org

A Vietnamese court have halved the jail sentence of a blogger after international pressure.

Pham Minh Hoang was sentenced to three years imprisonment for attempted subversion in August this year after he wrote 33 articles under a pseudonym, which were ruled by the court to blacken the image of the country and aimed to topple the government.

Hoang will be released on January 13 after serving a 17-month sentence, but will then serve three years of house arrest.

 

Vietnam    Blogger jailed for insult to official's son...
 

Vietnam flagVietnamese authorities have dropped charges against a female blogger who was detained for :infringing on the interests of the state. She was arrested for defamation after describing a senior official's son as a womanizer.

Le Nguyen Huong Tra, who blogged under the pseudonym Co Gai Do Long, was arrested last October and released on bail this January. Authorities have declared her actions to be less serious than first thought.

 

Vietnam    Saigon Brother Three...
 

Vietnam flagPolice have arrested Phan Thanh Hai, a blogger who writes under the name Anh Ba Saigon (Saigon Brother Three), after raiding his Ho Chi Minh City home, according to Agence France-Presse. Police seized his desktop and laptop computers, along with documents he had printed from the Internet, his wife, Nguyen Thi Lien, told AFP.

Police read us an arrest order for his provisional four-month detention, Lien told AFP. They said they have evidence of his writing and publication of false information on his blog. Hai's blog touched on issues considered sensitive by the authorities, including maritime disputes with China and a controversial bauxite mining project involving Chinese investments.

 


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