Freedom of expression
The Bilal Bagh protests in India snowballed from an all-women sit-in to a highly disciplined, non-violent revolution, even as it headed on a collision course with the Indian state and, as the government claimed, the COVID-19 virus.
In this joint statement, APC and other civil society organisations, lawyers, journalists and activists call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Alaa Abdel Fattah, our courageous friend, human rights activist and blogger.
The Forum for Freedom of Expression, Bangladesh, of which APC member VOICE is part, expresses deep concern over the series of attacks on journalists during the 30 days of countrywide lockdown imposed by the government for containment of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Renowned Egyptian blogger and political prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah started a hunger strike on 30 March in Cairo’s Tora maximum security prison to protest the dire conditions in Egypt’s jails and the ban on family visits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 22, researcher and government critic Ravio Patra was arrested in Jakarta, Indonesia, not long after an attempt to protect his safety due to a WhatsApp privacy breach, prompting a larger discussion on the scale of authoritarian oppression in Indonesia.
The internet is the primary source of information on the global COVID-19 pandemic. But Arakan in western Myanmar is currently experiencing the longest-running internet shutdown in the world, and the lack of access to information could put an already vulnerable population in a dangerous situation.
APC joined dozens of other organisations and researchers to call on social media companies to enable future research and analysis about the “infodemic” side of COVID-19 by preserving information about what their systems are automatically blocking and taking down.
APC member organisation 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media received this year's award in the digital activism category for its outstanding work educating the Palestinian public and the world about Palestinian digital rights issues.
Fifteen years ago, two youngsters met in a small house in Melbourne with the idea to build an online space for social issue documentaries from the Asia-Pacific. Today, the idea may seem a little banal. But the internet is no longer the free and open space it once was.
In the face of a rising number of attacks on journalists in Bangladesh, Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), an APC member organisation, hosted a day-long media training workshop to discuss the challenges faced by journalists and explore solutions for this growing problem.