Category: Worldwide Violations

Pro-Ukrainian Blogger Arrested for Posting Online About Life in Military-held Luhansk

Eduard Nedeliayev, a pro-Ukrainian blogger, was arrested in the occupied city of Luhansk. Nedeliayev is accused by Russian-backed militants of cooperating with the Ukrainian Secret Services and the Aidar battalion. The blogger was claimed by the “Ministry of State Security” to post extremist materials on social media. However, his supporters assert that Nedeliayev was only sharing the real life under military-held Luhansk. In a search conducted at his house,…

Kazakhstan: Human Rights Defenders Sentenced to Five Years Over Critical Posts on Facebook

Human rights defenders Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan were sentenced on November 28 in Kazakhstan to 5 years in prison for organizing peaceful protests earlier this year and publishing critical posts on Facebook. The charges ranged from ‘institution of social discord’ under Article 174 of the Criminal Code, ‘dissemination of knowingly false information’ under Article 274, to ‘violation of the procedure of organisation and…

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…

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…