This week’s report begins in Saudi Arabia where government officials say they will soon require Internet users to obtain a state-issued permit in order to post videos on YouTube. Videos would be evaluated based on their consistency with Saudi “culture, values and tradition.” The policy could have troublesome implications for activists, whose strategic use of YouTube for actions like the Women2Drive campaign has brought international attention to the issue. Saudi citizens reportedly boast the highest YouTube usage rate per capita in the world.
A Saudi judge recommended that blogger Raif Badawi face charges of apostasy, or denouncing Islam, before the country’s high court. Individuals convicted of apostasy in Saudi Arabia typically receive the death penalty. Last summer, Badawi was convicted of insulting Islam on his blog, Free Saudi Liberals, and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. The current recommendation came after Badawi’s lawyers appealed the decision.
posts about or somewhat related to ‘human rights’
Via The Tibet Post:
Chinese officials continued their crackdown on access to foreign media in Tibet on March 10 through the dismantling of satellite dishes at the Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery in Labrang erea (Gansu province), Amdho region, eastern Tibet.
Observed as the official ‘Uprising Day’, March 10 is the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa, rallies are held worldwide on this day n support of the Tibetan cause.
Monastery administration was ordered to remove and then burn their satellite dishes. They were then told these should be replaced, alongside new receivers, with smaller state sanctioned ones. These new devices only receive state controlled programmes; thereby blocking Tibetans from obtaining international media.
These new receivers are fitted with an automatic recorder and camera which are used as surveillance devices by the Chinese government television control office. If phrases such as “Free Tibet” of “His Holiness the Dalai Lama” are detected on this device then the officials are alerted and sanctions are carried out.
Earlier in January, Chinese authorities confiscated televisions and dismantled satellite equipment from 300 monasteries in the western part of the region. Cash rewards were announced for anyone informing the authorities about Tibetans holding back ‘illegal’ devices. Arrests and fines are imposed on those who are found to have such devices in their possession.
FJP: About 100 Tibetans have self-immolated themselves since 2009 in protest against human rights conditions and China blames foreign influence for the continued practice.
For example, in February, it accused the US-backed Voice of America of encouraging immolations. A charge the State Department denies.
Via Radio Free Asia:
A young Tibetan traditional artist was sentenced to two years in jail with hard labor for having photos on his mobile phone of two compatriots who self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule, according to exile sources Saturday.
Ngawang Thupden, 20, was detained in October last year in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), but relatives learned of the prison sentence for “subversion” only four months later, the sources said, citing contacts in the Himalayan region…
…Chinese authorities have been cracking down hard on any efforts by Tibetans to publicize self-immolation protests after steps taken by Beijing to stop the burnings failed.
Thupden was accused of “subversion, propagating incorrect political messages, and causing disharmony among ethnic minorities.”
In recent months, a team of researchers part of Canada’s Citizen Lab have been conducting network scans of public servers in countries on almost every continent. Today, they released their findings—which appear to show that networking technology made by Blue Coat, a Silicon Valley-based company, is being used in a host of countries with questionable human rights records.
The equipment in question can serve a legitimate purpose—like filtering out spam or malware. But in the hands of an authoritarian regime it can easily be turned into a tool for monitoring users or blocking content. Citizen Lab says it found Blue Coat filtering technology capable of censorship operating in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It also found Blue Coat technology that can be used for surveillance and tracking of Web users in Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.
Ryan Gallagher, Slate. Report: Silicon Valley Internet Surveillance Gear Used by Authoritarian Regimes.
My father said that some days ago someone brought the printout of this diary saying how wonderful it was. My father said that he smiled but could not even say that it was written by his daughter.
14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, in her 2009 diary for BBC Urdu, about life under Taliban rule.
She wrote the series under a pen name until the Taliban were driven out of Swat, after which her identity was known and she won a national award for bravery, as well as a nomination for an international children’s peace award.
On Tuesday, she was shot.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
Malala Yousafzai was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded.
One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.
But a police official also told BBC Urdu that unidentified gunmen opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus.
She was hit in the head and, some reports say, in the neck area by a second bullet, but is now in hospital and is reportedly out of danger. Another girl who was with her at the time was also injured.
World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch are now accepting applications for the second Tim Hetherington Grant.
Created to celebrate the legacy of photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, the “annual grant, worth €20,000, will be awarded to a photographer to complete an existing project on a human rights theme. The judges will look for the qualities that defined Tim’s career when reviewing the applications: work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.”
Last year, Stephen Ferry used the grant for Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict.
Applications are due November 15 and can be found here.