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Journalists, Social Media Activists Behind Bars

Iran’s presidential elections, as well as those for town and village councils, are scheduled for May 19. Yet even before registration opens for candidates, a string of journalists have been arrested. If they have been arrested simply for speaking out…
A woman lets her child cast her ballot during the parliamentary election, at a mosque in southern Tehran March 2, 2012.
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Celebrated Filmmakers Face Restrictions, Jail at Home

This week, the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won an Academy Award for best foreign language film for his movie The Salesman (Forushande), his second Oscar. Farhadi and his film crew chose not to attend the Los Angeles ceremony to protest President…
A statement is read on behalf of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi at the 89th Academy Awards after he was awarded an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, for his 2016 film The Salesman, Hollywood, California, United States, February 26, 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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It’s been a month since a court in Angola found 17 activists guilty of preparing a rebellion against the government and sentenced them to between two and eight years in prison. The activists should never have been jailed, and their trial only served as a…
Imprisoned activists hold books during a rare visit by of opposition party members to Viana jail, April 2016. © 2016 Private
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This week, a court in Angola found 17 activists guilty of preparing a rebellion against the government and sentenced them to between two and eight years in prison. The hefty terms shocked many Angolans, reminding them once again that rights to free speech…
Some of the 17 activists who have been sentenced to jail terms of between two and eight years, after prosecutors introduced a new charge of “criminal conspiracy," Angola, 2015.
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Angola is making news for all the wrong reasons. There are growing allegations that Angolan security forces killed hundreds of people, said to be members of a religious sect, during unrest in Huambo province in which nine police officers were killed – a…
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On April 12 the Fars News Agency, an outlet close to Iran’s security and intelligence apparatus, published an attack piece titled “New Revelations About Jason Rezaian’s Relationship with the CIA.” After touching on brief details of Rezaian’s legal case,…
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Angola’s government claims that it respects free speech and the right to protest – and it went on the record as such during last week’s United Nations review of its human rights record. But the reality on the ground couldn’t be more different.…
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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…
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How do you know when the human rights situation in a country has sunk to a new low? How about when a 17-year-old boy is thrown into solitary confinement for weeks, without access to family, lawyers, or medical care, just for ordering T-shirts? This is…
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Corrections: The following tweet in the piece below belongs to journalist Arash Karami:"The way Iranians are celebrating the open use of Facebook and Twitter from inside the country you’d think they just won World Cup." The words "online party" in the…