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Unlimited Surveillance Powers Are Among a Series of Attacks on Freedoms

(New York) – Nepal’s Special Service Bill risks giving the national intelligence agency unlimited surveillance and search powers, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed law, which permits communications interception without judicial oversight,…
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli attends this year's fiscal policy and programs during complete nationwide lockdown at federal parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday, May 15, 2020.
News

Government Should Reform the Law and Police Response to Address Rising Tide of Abuse

Imagine discovering private – and perhaps intimate – photos of yourself online. Strangers are posting humiliating comments, with personal details, making you identifiable to the world. This is increasingly a reality for women and girls in…
Women hold placards during a protest against sexual violence in Kathmandu, Nepal
News

Criminal Defamation Has Chilling Effect on Media Freedom

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian police in South Kalimantan province should drop criminal defamation charges against a blogger for articles in which he interviewed indigenous Dayak leaders about a land dispute with an oil palm plantation, Human Rights Watch…
On May 4, 2020, the South Kalimantan police arrested and detained blogger Diananta Putra Sumedi (left) in Banjarmasin, charging him with online defamation, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison. 
News

Online Fraud Laws Used to Crack Down on Free Speech

The recent crackdown on journalists in Nepal is bad enough, but now the authorities have gone one step further and jailed a comedian for critiquing a film. Pranesh Gautam, 24, an architect and part-time comedian who posts on…
A journalist protests a set of laws that threaten to curb free speech, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 19, 2018.
News

Officials Shut Down Student News Website Over Story ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

A student news website in Indonesia that published a story about a woman expressing her love for another young woman was ordered by university officials to shut down its entire news operation after the story went viral. North Sumatra University (…
The newsroom of student website Suara USU at the North Sumatra University in Medan, which is facing closure. University President Runtung Sitepu ordered the newsroom to be shut down and the office to be vacated in 48 hours on March 27, 2019 after the webs
News

Repeal Criminal Defamation Provisions in Internet Law

(Jakarta) – Indonesia’s Judiciary Commission should review the prosecution of Saidah Saleh Syamlan for criminal defamation in the Surabaya district court, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 26, 2019, the court sentenced Syamlan…
Saidah Saleh Syamlan
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Encourages Users to Report People Suspected of ‘Heresy’

Following your own religious beliefs shouldn’t be a crime, but in Indonesia, new technologies are helping authorities identify and potentially prosecute religious minorities who follow “deviant teachings.” On November 22,…
201811asia_indonesia_internet_smartpakem
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Vulnerable Communities Face Worsening Risk

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s government is failing to confront increasing intolerance that has led to discrimination and violence against the country’s most vulnerable minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in…
201801wr_indonesia_human_rights Two homosexual men were sentenced to 82 whips by the Shariah Court in Banda Aceh, Indonesia on May 23, 2017. They violated Islamic law in Qanun number 6, year 2014 Article 63, paragraph 1 regarding the Law of Liwath. Aceh i
News

House Speaker Using Defamation Laws to Silence Critics

Dyann Kemala Arrizzqi’s Instagram feed is filled with her travel photos, demonstrations of her prowess at traditional Balinese dance poses, and wry memes. But now the content of her Instagram feed may get her sent to an Indonesian…
The speaker of Indonesia's parliament Setya Novanto talks to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 18, 2017.
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…