Freedom of expression
Since early 2021, the Kingdom of Eswatini has been gripped by waves of civil unrest, with reports of internet shutdowns implemented by the government in response to protests. It is in this climate of suspicion and unrest that cybercrime and data protection laws were gazetted in early 2022.
Internet censorship in the name of morality in Pakistan is rampant, and the trend continues to grow as new laws and regulations are introduced. But just a cursory look at this trend reveals that the censorship is not just vague, but also sexist, targeting women's expression and experiences online.
EngageMedia and CommonEdge invited writers, researchers and changemakers to respond to the growing digital authoritarianism – accelerated by COVID-19 – in the Asia-Pacific. The result is a 10-part series featuring insights from Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Australia.
This joint civil society submission focuses particularly on digital rights including freedom of expression, the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs), including women human rights defenders, violence against women and misinformation.
APC and other members of the Hold the Line Coalition condemn the Philippine Court of Appeals decision to uphold the conviction of Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos Jr. on trumped-up charges of cyber libel.
During the high-level discussion on countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment of human rights, APC called for efforts to collect and study community-based responses to disinformation and improve the exercise of communication rights and tools by marginalised communities.
In its submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, APC stresses that online attacks against women and gender-non-conforming people are one of the most serious contemporary threats to their safety, to media freedom and to gender equality more broadly.
In its submission to the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, APC welcomed the concerns raised regarding defamation campaigns against legal professionals on social media, and highlighted the case of Tunisia, where women judges are the target of online gendered attacks.
In this submission, APC and other civil society groups call on the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT to withdraw the amendments recently proposed to the country's IT Rules and to commence a process of consultation on the proposed amendments.
APC and other members of the Hold the Line Coalition condemn the shutdown order against Maria Ressa's Rappler media group, approved by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission this week.
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 2022
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