Netizen Report: Pan-African Edition

This week’s Netizen Report on Global Voices Advocacy starts out in Sub-Saharan Africa, where we look at how Pan-African organizations and a number of countries are debating issues of free expression online. Here’s how it begins:

This week the spotlight turns to Sub-Saharan Africa where Internet freedom advocates are demanding reform as a range of governments across the continent continue policies of censoring dissent. In Nairobi, Kenya, a Pan African Civil Society Workshop on “Who Controls the Internet?” published a statement calling for African nations to prioritize the UN Human Rights Council Resolution affirming freedom of expression online. The participating organizations also called on governments across Africa to endorse the African Platform for Access to Information and to apply its principles.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has called upon United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase pressure for free expression during her 11-day tour of the region. In one of her first stops on the tour Clinton visited South Africa, where proposed legislation could mandate up to 25 years in prison for journalists and government whistleblowers who leak, possess or publish classified government documents. This week Clinton is also visiting Nigeria, whose Senate President David Mark has called for a clampdown on social media. Amidst a backlash by Nigerian netizens, Mark said that his comments were taken out of context.

From there, we move on to cover the latest developments in the struggle for freedom and control of the Internet in Myanmar, China, France, United States, the United Nations, Facebookistan, and beyond. Read the whole thing here.

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