CJFE Newsletter: January / February 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Dear CJFE members and supporters, We hope your 2014 is off to a positive and productive start! This January, CJFE has reported on a striking number of international cases involving detentions, threats and attacks targeting journalists and public demonstrators. January came to a close with the disturbing news that Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy is among 20 Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt being charged with assisting or belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. We are following this case closely, and will continue to post updates to our website. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to in January, and what we’re looking forward to next month:

What happened in January:

  • Timeline of 2013 at CJFE: To showcase all of the work that we did in 2013, we put together an interactive timeline of highlights from the past year.
  • Members of Pussy Riot released: CJFE celebrated the December release of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of Russian punk band Pussy Riot after 21 months of imprisonment for performing an anti-Putin punk prayer inside of Moscow’s most famous cathedral.
  • Internet Freedom Day: On January 18, CJFE recognized the second anniversary of the worldwide internet “blackout” in protest of SOPA, the proposed American intellectual property legislation that threatened free expression online.
  • Why digital privacy matters: January 28 marked International Data Privacy Day, and CJFE honoured the occasion by debunking the “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” argument so often used to support mass surveillance.
  • Opportunities to work with CJFE: Applications for our Research and Publications Internship are now closed, but applications for our Digital Communications Strategy Consultant remain open until this Sunday, February 2.
  • International alerts: CJFE flagged several free expression violations around the world this month, including incidents in Egypt, Russia, and Palestine.
  • Country profiles: We took an in-depth look at broader free expression trends around the world, including journalist kidnappings in Syria, media development in Burma, the growth of press freedom in South Africa and the state of journalism in Uruguay.
  • What’s coming up:

    • Review of Free Expression in Canada crowdfunding campaign: On February 12, we’ll be kicking off a campaign to help raise funds to support the production of our annual Review. The publication is a unique and invaluable resource examining free expression in Canada over the past year. We’ll need your support to make this happen, so be sure to share the campaign and spread the word!
    • Sochi Olympics Watch: CJFE’s volunteers will be tracking free expression issues throughout the Olympic Games in Russia and evaluating the country’s free expression record. Follow updates throughout the Olympics in a timeline February 7 – 23, and share updates using the hashtag #WatchSochi!
    • Third anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation: CJFE will examine the free expression landscape in Egypt since the forced resignation of Mubarak on February 11, 2011.
    • Day Against Mass Surveillance: February 11 also marks a day for the world to stand up against mass surveillance and demand protection of our data and privacy. Visit thedaywefightback.org for more details about what’s coming up and ways you can get involved.
    • Freedom to Read Week: The last week of February marks national Freedom to Read Week, an initiative of the Book and Periodical Council of Canada. Events will be taking place across the country, so check cjfe.org for how you can get involved, and more on why we celebrate our freedom to read in Canada.
    • For more free expression news, commentary, and event updates, visit cjfe.org! Until soon, Amy Johnson

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