Saudi authorities must release women’s rights activist Salma al-Shehab

We, the undersigned NGOs, call on the international community to press Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release women’s rights activist and academic Salma al-Shehab, who was recently sentenced to 34 years in prison based on tweets in support of women’s rights and for the respect of basic rights. It is the longest known …

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Meta’s Treatment of the India Human Rights Impact Assessment Is an Alarming Precedent for Arabic Speaking Countries

22 August 2022 Dear Meta Human Rights and “MENA” Teams, The undersigned civil society organizations working in Arabic-speaking countries demand the immediate release of Meta’s India human rights impact assessment (HRIA) and BSR’s independent review of Meta’s content moderation in Palestine. Meta contracted with BSR, a third-party assessor, “to conduct a thorough examination to determine …

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Bread&Net Fiction Prize: Digital Utopias and Futures

Update: The deadline is Sunday, September 18. There is no doubt that today’s digital spaces are mainly ruled by a handful of profit-hungry technology megacorporations. Their practices benefit society’s most powerful and exclude marginalized groups and individuals. From social media platforms to search engines to our GPS technologies, the internet is not as free as …

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Billions in Squandered Funds: Court of Audit Report on the Telecom Sector in Lebanon

Editor’s note: In April 2022, the Lebanese Court of Audit issued a special report (No. 2/2022, based on report No. 114/2021), prepared by the Court’s fourth chamber, on the country’s telecom sector. The report analyzes the sector’s reality and details how public funds were systematically squandered, bringing the telecom sector to the brink of collapse …

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Palestine: Online Work Booming despite Occupation Constraints

A few days ago, Rula Abdeen, 22, from Gaza City, was busy carefully packaging handmade wooden accessories and crafts in cardboard boxes, in preparation for a handicraft exhibition in the city. Like many young people in Gaza and Palestine, finding a job after graduation was not easy for her. Unemployment rates in the Gaza Strip …

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Statement to condemn the continued blocking of Al-Manassa’s website

1 August 2022 The undersigned civil society organizations condemn the blocking by the Egyptian authorities of three links to access the Al-Manassa website within approximately 72 hours, starting from Thursday, 14 July. The blocking occurs as part of a series of continued restrictions on the website, which is one of the few independent news sites …

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Will Sudan’s Telecom Sector Remain Under Military Control?

On May 29, Sudan’s military leader, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, lifted the nationwide state of emergency, setting the stage for talks between conflicting parties. However, the end of the emergency period coincided with military crackdowns and arrests against protesters. The army has imposed its control over the freedom of expression and the country’s most dynamic …

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Legalizing Control of Personal Data and Online Discourse in Syria

In Syria, security forces are known to resort to violence when investigating freedom of expression cases in an attempt to create a state of general fear and self-censorship among citizens. Vaguely worded laws—which are used to control public discourse—restrict citizens from freely speaking about social issues. This year, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad issued two laws …

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