Author: JWF Staff

Jimmy Wales Foundation

Joint Statement Concerning the Deteriorating Situation Facing Human Rights Defenders in Iran

In advance of the Iranian presidential elections on 19 May, which will take place in a largely restrictive environment, we, the undersigned organisations, urge that the Iranian government to fulfil its international human rights obligations and cease the systematic targeting of human rights defenders (HRDs). Scores of HRDs have been arrested and remain in prison on arbitrary charges, simply for…

Uganda: University Lecturer Jailed for Insulting President on Facebook

Dr. Stella Nyanzi, a 72-year-old Ugandan university lecturer and activist, is being held behind bars in a maximum-security prison in Kampala for criticizing the President on her Facebook page. Nyanzi was arrested on April 7, 2017, two months after she had described President Yoweri Museveni as “pair of buttocks”. She was charged under the Computer Misuse Act of 2011 with cyber-harassment and offensive communication. Nyanzi pleaded…

Maldivian Activist Jailed for Criticizing Development Project on Twitter

Thayyib Shaheem, a news editor and a political activist, was arrested on March 16 in the Maldives for criticizing a development project in the country on Twitter. Shaheem, who has about 22K followers on Twitter, was accused of “spreading panic and disinformation on social media” and now may face charges punishable by up to a year and 3 months in prison. Shaheem is a vocal…

Iran Sentenced to Death a 21-Year-Old Man for ‘Insulting Islam’ on Instant Messaging App

Sina Dehghan, a 21-year-old man, was sentenced in Iran to death over criticizing Islam. He was arrested by security forces on October 21, 2015, at a military barracks in Tehran. Dehghan was charged under article 262 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code for ‘insulting the prophet’ of Islam; a criminal charge which is punishable by death. Dehghan was convicted at the Penal Court of the…

Techdirt Blogger Faces $15 Million Libel Suit by ‘Inventor of Email’

Mike Masnick, the founder of the tech blog Techdirt, is facing a libel suit on the excessive amount of 15 Million USD in compensatory damages by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. The lawsuit is based on a series of 14 blog posts published on Techdirt between 2014 and 2016, challenging Ayyadurai’s claim to be the inventor of email. In the lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, USA, the blog posts…

Algerian Blogger Is Facing 25 Years in Prison for Interviewing an Israeli Official

Merzoug Touati, an Algerian blogger, has been held behind bars in El Khemis prison since January 18, 2017, for conducting a video interview with a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The interview was posted on Youtube on January 9 and shared on his blog Alhogra. The local police has reportedly confiscated the blogger’s computer and camera. Touati is facing charges under the suspicion…

Russian-Israeli Blogger Jailed and Extradited to Azerbaijan for Criticizing the Azeri Regime

Alexander Lapshin, a 40-year-old Russian-Israeli travel blogger, was arrested after writing critical posts against the Azeri regime. The popular blogger was extradited to Azerbaijan from Belarus on February 7, 2017, under the suspicion of crossing into Belarus illegally and visiting Nagorno-Karabagh, a disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Lapshin was arrested on December 15, 2016, in Minsk, Belarus. An international extradition warrant to Azerbaijan…