Human rights on the internet: Snapshots from Indonesia and Kenya #IGF2013

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Two participants of APC’s training on human rights on the internet shared with us the main issues that they are facing in their countries and organisations.

Dinda Nuurannisaa Yura, Solidaritas Perempuan, Indonesia

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“Human rights on the internet are not being respected in Indonesia. Recently, for example, there was a worrysome development on Twitter. A person with a lot of followers targeted a LGBT organisation, and made public the names of the staff and the address. Staff wasn’t able to go to their offices for several days, since the risk of violence there were facing was very hard. There is also blogger criminalisation, mostly for defamation. The standard of defamation or morality that judges use is still very unclear.
It opens an opportunity for ‘rich’ person or government or big company to put activist or journalist or whoever to the jail by the law. If bloggers, for example, talk about the corruption of the government, before the court decides wether corruption is happening or not, they arrest the blogger already.”

Beryl Aidi, Kenya Human rights Commission, Kenya

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“We’ve being doing a research on human rights on the internet and we found that our country enjoys relatively internet freedom. The problem is that those freedoms are not anchored in law apart from general provisions in the constitution, and thus they are not protected. We have some protection on the ICCPR, which is also national law as far as the new constitution is concerned, but anything that is in the constitution that doesn’t have a piece of legislation that operationalises it can’t be enforced.”

What is consensual is that these rights and freedoms should be respected and that we have to enjoy them. Recently the regulator (Communications Commission of Kenya), said that they need to tighten the laws about security and child pornography, which is great; but when blanket statements like this are made without being specific, if that’s the chances of rights of genuine expression being curtailed is very high.

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