Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.
Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden
and Julian Assange
are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo
is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us.
President Barack Obama’s administration and several major rights groups are reacting with frustration to the decision of an Egyptian court, announced Tuesday night, to convict 43 civil society organisations and 16 U.S. employees of illegal use of foreign funds.
Almost two years after popular uprisings swept across the Middle East and North Africa, rights advocates are warning that ominous backsliding is taking place in countries across the region and beyond.