An authoritative Central Asia-focused news website has defeated attempts to silence it in Kyrgyzstan: authorities have unblocked it. Yet under the prevailing interpretation of a parliamentary resolution, the website, Fergana News, still appears to be banned in the Central Asian nation.
Mahfuza, a mother of three in a small town in the Ferghana Valley, has better things to do than spend her afternoons at crowded, smoke-filled Internet clubs. But as a high-school algebra teacher, she has an extracurricular assignment from her bosses: she must monitor the clubs’ clientele – many of them her students – while they play computer games, surf social networking websites, and watch music videos.
In Sudan’s newspaper district in Khartoum East, dozens of people sit beneath the trees sipping tea or reading newspapers. Most are journalists who once worked for the 10 newspapers that were either forced closed by the country’s security services or because of economic constraints that resulted after the government raised printing taxes in an attempt to prevent the media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations.