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On leaving Trump behind and free speech among the young: Interview with PEN CEO Suzanne Nossel

This statement was originally published on pen.org on 18 December 2020. Every Friday, we discuss tricky questions about free speech and expression with our CEO Suzanne Nossel, author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All, in our weekly PEN Pod segment “Tough Questions.” In this week’s episode, we talked about the larger ramifications of the

Vaccine passports: A stamp of inequity

This statement was originally published on eff.org on 16 December 2020. A COVID vaccine has been approved and vaccinations have begun. With them have come proposals of ways to prove you have been vaccinated, based on the presumption that vaccination renders a person immune and unable to spread the virus. The latter is unclear. It also raises

Journalism and COVID-19: The toll of the pandemic

This statement was originally published on pen.org and last updated on 15 December 2020. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, news publishers were deemed “essential” businesses, underlining the vital role that journalists play in our society. Indeed, journalism is perhaps never more important than at a time of intersecting challenges for the United States

Chinese journalist who covered Covid-19 sentenced to four years in jail

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 29 December 2020. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese regime to immediately release Zhang Zhan, a lawyer-turned-journalist who was recently sentenced to a four-year prison term for reporting on the Covid-19 outbreak. After a mere three-hour trial, lawyer-turned-journalist Zhang Zhan, 37, was sentenced on 28 December

COVID-19 pandemic severely undermined press freedom in South Asia

This statement was originally published on ipi.media on 29 December 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and pushed the media into uncharted territory. Across the globe press freedom has been undermined by governments to control the public narrative and cover up their inadequacies. Authorities have clamped down on the media to control information

Egypt: Access to information is critical to confronting the pandemic

This statement was originally published on afteegypt.org on 29 December 2020. The threat of Covid-19 is increasing around the world. In Egypt, the lack of disclosure of information related to the spread of the pandemic aggravates the crisis. The number of Covid-19 infections has increased since the second wave of the pandemic started more than

Saudi Arabia: Terrorism court sentences women’s rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul

This statement was originally published on gc4hr.org on 28 December 2020. Today, Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Saudi women’s human rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul to 5 years and 8 months in prison. The sentence includes a suspension of 2 years and 10 months in addition to the time already served (since May 2018) which

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