Bloggers and technologists who were forced “offline” in 2018

January 8, 2019

Alaa poses with his sister Mona while wearing an EFF t-shirt
  • In Iran, designer and programmer Saeed Malekpour languishes in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. Earlier this year, he turned 43, the tenth birthday he’s spent behind bars. In October, he suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital, where he was handcuffed to his bed for four days before returning to prison. According to his sister, he has also suffered kidney stones, prostate issues and arthritis. To find out how you can support Saeed Malekpour, click here.
  • In Memoriam. Finally, we wish to remember Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, the tireless advocate for open culture who was executed in 2015 in Syria, a fact that was only revealed on 1 August  2017:  Noura Khartabil, Bassel’s wife, was informed  that day that Bassel was executed by the Syrian authorities. This is the first official confirmation of his death, twenty-two months after the confirmation said the execution took place.
    The author JILLIAN C. YORK with Bassel in Beirut in December 2009

The EFF reports also some good news:

In February 2018, Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega was freed by the country’s new after serving six years in prison. His journey hasn’t been easy—not long after his release, he was detained wrongfully for twelve days along with several other writers and journalists. We’re keeping a close eye on Ethiopia but are thrilled that Nega and his colleagues finally have their freedom. Watch EFF’s Rainey Reitman in conversation with Eskinder Nega. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/12/05/video-on-journalist-eskinder-nega-in-detention-in-ethiopia/

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour’s story gives hope: Although the poet, photographer, and activist served three years of house arrest and another 42 days in prison, she hasn’t been defeated. After her release, she bravely came out as a survivor of rape, has given tough interviews on her experience, and most recently, launched an exhibition of her photographs. Tatour still faces challenges: The Israeli government has sought to strip funding from her exhibition and a play written about her plight, which would effectively censor the works. But Dareen has something that can’t be challenged: her freedom.

To learn more about all of these brave individuals, visit Offline.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/bloggers-and-technologists-whose-voices-are-offline-2018-review.

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