Keeping the Internet free from incitement to violence, hate speech and child pornography is a priority around the world. It is particularly important in countries that have seen rapid and immense growth in Internet usage. Unfortunately, all too often, countries adopt laws and policies that appear to target online evils, but instead punish people who criticize the government or its leaders.
This is the case in Bangladesh, where more than half the population is now online, up from under 15 percent five years ago — and where the space for free speech has shrunk at an alarming rate in the process.… Seguir leyendo »
“I not only weaken the opposition, I’m going to make them dead … and if anyone is strong enough to try to hold a demonstration, I will beat all those dogs and put them in a cage.”
No, this was not Muammar el-Qaddafi in his infamous “cockroach” speech in 2011, when he urged his supporters to go “house to house” to kill the opposition. The speaker was Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, responding with typically threatening language to the suggestion by a Cambodian critic that he should be worried about the overthrow of a dictator in Tunisia.
Often overlooked in discussions about the world’s most notorious autocrats, on Friday Hun Sen will join the “10,000 Club,” a group of strongmen who through politically motivated violence, control of the security forces, massive corruption and the tacit support of foreign powers have been able to remain in power for 10,000 days.… Seguir leyendo »
David Miliband was right when he wrote on these pages that the use of the term «war on terror» has been a mistake. But the main problem with the war on terror has not been language, but conduct. This week the joint committee on human rights held a hearing on allegations of British complicity in torture in Pakistan, to which Jacqui Smith has been asked to respond. They suggest a policy of condoning torture in the interests of national security.
Take the case of Salahuddin Amin, a British citizen convicted in 2007 for plotting attacks against targets including London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub.… Seguir leyendo »