Interview

The Same Silence as Before

In Turkey on September 9 Ahmed Altan, writer, journalist and former chief editor, was detained along with his brother. In an interview by Alev Yaman made just before Altan’s detention Altan claims that there is a consistency in the growing regression in Turkey. 

Peace songs for Sudan

Month after month, the Sudanese musician Abazar Hamid submitted his peace and love songs to the government’s music monitoring committee which mostly censored and rejected them. Songs dealing with social and political issues riding Sudan were especially scrutinized, and after severe censorship and verbal threats, Abazar chose exile.

Darkness over Mosul – about journalism and ISIS in Iraq

For Iraqi journalist and writer Nawzat Shamdin, the meaning of the word home has come to be redefined during the two years he has lived in Skien, Norway. For over a decade, through his work as a journalist, Shamdin has drawn attention to atrocities committed by militias in Iraq, and in particular by ISIS.

Refuge writers due to sexual orientation

For Somali writer Ahmed Mohamed, being gay and writing about it in a strongly homophobic environment became more and more dangerous. Finally, through ICORN, he managed to leave and become Skellefteå’s first refuge writer. However, reality of life as an immigrant in Sweden proved not to be uncomplicated.

The struggle for a progressive Bangladesh goes on – from Sweden

28-year old blogger and journalist Shamima Mitu left Bangladesh on November 5. She was receiving severe threats because of her writings on social issues. With the aid of The Palme Centre and Swedish PEN, she is now residing in Gotland, waiting for a decision on her application for asylum.

“There is no future for Turkey under these conditions we are in”

Turkey has in recent years set a new record in the number of journalists and writers imprisoned and brought to trial.

China’s great cannon and censorship

The recent alarm that Chinese hackers had penetrated several vital digital systems even among dissidents in other countries, such as for example Canada, shows that cyber war is becoming the norm. What happens to freedom of expression when totalitarian states by the press of a button can silence critical voices on the other side of the globe?  Maria Vanta reports.

“You can’t wake up someone who pretends to be asleep”—about Eritrea’s future

January saw the release on bail of six journalists from the radio station Bana in Eritrea. They had been behind bars since 2009, when the government launched a large-scale raid on journalists.

One afternoon in Bishkek

At the PEN International Congress in Kyrgyzstan, British journalist and writer Juliet Jacques gave a speech on the situation for transsexuals in Thatchers Great Britain, when “section 28”, a law similar to todays’ ”anti-propaganda law” in Russia was in place.

Can you tell me more about your expectations for your country?

During the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011, we followed the uprisings, demonstrations and optimism through the anti-government blogs of Afrah Nasser (Yemen) and Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia). Three years later they are exchanging emails of their stories about developments in their respective countries, exclusively for The Dissident Blog.

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