The discovery of a colossal financial scam at a company in India’s West Bengal state is exposing the underbelly of the relationship between politicians and media owners in the world’s largest democracy, Mahima Kaul reports.
Moroccan atheist Imad Eddin Habib is now on the run, after police began searching for him last week. Habib told Irshad Manji‘s Moral Courage TV that officers confronted his father, asking him to bring an end to his son’s activism. Habib is the founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Morocco, which aims for the “application of a secular constitution.” The 22-year-old student has gained a reputation for his activism and controversial posts online, including a photograph of himself eating ice cream during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Shortly before he went into hiding, Habib was featured in an article on a high profile Moroccan news site, and police were searching for him hours after it was published. Atheism is [...]
In March the Russian authorities turned their attentions to online social networks — and the Kremlin proved adept at getting major international companies to comply with its directives: on 15 March Twitter blocked an account that promoted drugs and on 29 March Facebook took down a page called “Suicide School” rather than see its entire network blacklisted. On 25 March, reports surfaced that the ministry of Communications and Mass Media planned to transfer maintenance of the Registry of Banned Sites from communications regulator Roskomnadzor to a third party selected by Roskomnadzor. The ministry proposed changes to the registry; to maintain website owners’ information on the register but deny sites owners — as well as hosting and Internet providers — access to [...]
South Africa’s parliament yesterday approved a controversial bill aimed at protecting state secrets. Dubbed the “secrecy bill” by its critics, the Protection of State Information bill was passed by 189 votes to 74. Campaigners against the bill warned of the “chilling effect” it could create for anyone fighting to bring government corruption to light. The Right2Know campaign has been working against the bill since its introduction in 2010, and has vowed to continue fighting against the bill, which now must be signed by Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, in order to go into effect. Although the bill was amended last year to include a clause on public interest, the campaign says that the modified bill still “only has narrow protection for whistleblowers [...]
Tunisia’s Court of Cassation yesterday failed to review the seven-and-a-half year sentence of Jabeur Mejri, who was convicted last year of publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Mejri’s lawyer, Mohammed Mselmi, told AFP that the demand for an appeal “was mysteriously withdrawn”, even though a hearing had been scheduled on 25 April. The defence team will now seek a presidential pardon for their client. Last March, a primary court in Mahdia (eastern Tunisia) sentenced Mejri and his friend Ghazi Beji to seven and half years in prison. Beji, who published a satirical book entitled “the illusion of Islam” online, fled Tunisia. Mejir, however, has been in prison since he was arrested on 5 March 2012. Both men were fined [...]