Month: November 2016

Two Saudi Women Sentenced to 20 Lashes for Using Bad Language Over WhatsApp

Two women were sentenced by Saudi court in Jeddah to 10 days in prison and 20 lashes each, over using bad language while arguing with each other on WhatsApp. The messages were ruled to contain ‘impermissible expressions’. The women were warned by court that they would face worse punishment if they repeat their use of bad language. The case was brought to court two…

Persecuted Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar Arrested Today After Being Attacked by Pro-Gvt Thugs

Zunar, the Malaysian award winning political cartoonist and activist, was arrested today, 26 November, under the Sedition Act for cartoons that allegedly insulted Prime Minister Najib Razak. The arrest took place a day after being attacked by dozens of pro-government thugs. Due to the attack, Zunar was forced to call off his exhibition in Penang, northern to Kuala Lumpur. Zunar was verbally abused, physically attacked…

Indian Rationalist In Exile For Over 4 Years After Being Accused of Blasphemy

Sanal Edamaruku, a 61-year-old Indian man, was forced to flee India after being accused of blasphemy over exposing claimed “miracle” at a local church in Mumbai for being a fraud. Edamaruku has been living in Finland in the past 4 years to evade his arrest. Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, describes himself as a ‘miracle-buster’ who aims to demystify false superstitious beliefs.…

Ethiopia: Zone 9 Blogger Befeqadu Hailu Arrested Citing ‘State of Emergency’

Befeqadu Hailu Techanie (Amharic: በፍቃዱ ኃይሉ), a 36-year-old blogger and a member of the persecuted Zone 9 collective, was arrested by Ethiopian authorities on November 10, following a 6 month state of emergency declared by the government. No official reason was provided by authorities to the blogger’s arrest. However, according to some reports, his criticism of the emergency state on an interview for Voice of…

Pro-Democracy Activist Arrested in Myanmar Over Facebook Posts

Myo Yan Naung Thein, a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Myanmar, was arrested on November 3 over Facebook posts deemed to be offensive towards the military’s Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. The activist was charged under Section 66(D) of the Myanmar’s Telecommunications Law. Myo Yan Naung Thein is expected to appear before court again on November 17; if convicted,…

Thailand: 900+ Websites Blocked After Death of King

In the wake of the death of long-serving King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s newly formed Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has begun a mass-crackdown of online content. Authorities have reported that this measure has been taken as part of the country’s lese majeste laws, with one spokesperson for the Ministry of Information saying: “Many heartbroken Thais are quite sensitive. When…

Vietnam: Blogger Arrested Over Anti-State Facebook Posts

Ho Van Hai, a 52-year-old blogger, was arrested on November 2nd by the Ho Chi Minh City police over spreading “anti-state propaganda” on Facebook. The posts have allegedly violated the controversial Article 88 of the state’s Criminal Code, criminalising publication of “propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. If charged and convicted, Hai is facing up to 20 years in prison. The posts have been…