Make the Money, Make (up) the News? The Underreported War of Nagorno-Karabakh

Make the Money, Make (up) the News? The Underreported War of Nagorno-Karabakh

By Nay Alhelou, Co-Editor of RightsViews and MA Candidate in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University.  Four weeks on, the war over Nagorno-Karabakh continues despite a third ceasefire agreement that was supposed to take effect on October 26. In the meantime, a parallel war – a war of (mis)information – finally starts to make headlines. Over the past two weeks, both academics and journalists reported on the ways in which Azerbaijan has been using its financial power to set the tone of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Academics at Harvard University and Columbia University pointed out that Azerbaijan has been investing in lobbying firms and using social media ‘trolls’ to spread misinformation in the aim of getting the public’s support. For example, Azerbaijani Telegram channel “The Tagiev” claimed that videos showing the capture and execution of two Armenian soldiers were staged, even though originally the channel itself posted them and identified them as real. However, an investigation by Bellingcat found that the videos were...
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Social Media Platforms: A Theater for Exercising Free Speech

Social Media Platforms: A Theater for Exercising Free Speech

Guest contributor Maanya Vaidyanathan is the Policy and Engagement Manager at The Dialogue, a tech policy think-tank in India. She specialises in International Law, Gender Policies, Intermediary Liabilities and Foreign Policy.  Guest contributor Kazim Rizvi is a Public-Policy Policy Entrepreneur and Founder of The Dialogue, a tech policy think-tank in India. Kazim is one of the leading voices in India’s tech policy discourse. “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” ― John Milton, Areopagitica Freedom of speech and expression gives individuals the right to freely express themselves without the fear of being reprimanded. This right, however, is neither absolute nor devoid of responsibility. It is a complex right that comes with reasonable restrictions, as given in Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 19(2) of the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights provide for freedom of speech and expression in any medium, including...
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Fait Accompli: Singapore Again Upholds Section 377A Criminalising Homosexuality

Fait Accompli: Singapore Again Upholds Section 377A Criminalising Homosexuality

Co-authored by guest contributors Paras Ahuja and Rahul Garg.  Paras Ahuja is an undergraduate student pursuing law at the National Law University, Jodhpur. Her research interests include human rights, constitutional law and feminism.  Rahul Garg is an undergraduate student pursuing law at the National Law University, Jodhpur. His research interests include gender studies, human rights and international humanitarian law. On 30th March, 2020, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore in Ong Ming Johnson v. Attorney-General upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code, 1871. Section 377A punishes any male person who commits an act of “gross indecency” with another male person, whether in public or in private. The judgement marks itself as a regressive touchpoint in Singapore’s progression towards inclusiveness and equality.  Article 14(1) (a) of the Constitution of Singapore guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression. The petitioners in this case contended that Section 377A derogated this right by failing to recognize one’s...
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