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Bangladesh arrests militant chief over blogger murders
On Thursday, Bangladesh’s elite security force arrested the head of a banned hardline group over the brutal murders of atheist bloggers Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das that sparked an international outcry, a spokesman said. Four secular bloggers have been hacked to death in Muslim-majority Bangladesh since the start of the year. AFP
Top intelligence official: Edward Snowden forced ‘needed transparency’
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said Wednesday that Edward Snowden’s leaks of secret government surveillance programs “forced some needed transparency.” The comment was a stark contrast to the condemnation top U.S. officials have levied on the former National Security Agency contractor until now. CNN
Saudi journalist and blogger held without charge for past 16 months
Alaa Brinji has been held without trial or charge for over a year after being arrested in May 2014. Some say he was arrested for critical comments about religious fatwas posted on Facebook. Other sources say he was arrested for criticizing parts of the anti-terrorism law Saudi Arabia adopted in 2014. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
No charge for journalist China held for online posts in 2013
A Chinese journalist detained by police two years ago over online speech had his name cleared Thursday when Beijing prosecutors decided not to indict him. Liu Hu, then a reporter for the newspaper New Express, was taken away in August 2013 for his whistle-blowing online posts about senior government officials. AP
Alleged ‘Uyghur extremists’ shootout sparks Chinese social media crackdown
Chinese social media has been abuzz following an alleged shootout between police and “Xinjiang Uyghur extremists” in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou on Monday night. Posts related to the alleged incident have since triggered widespread censorship by authorities, but the episode has not yet been confirmed. HONG KONG FREE PRESS
South Africa might get the worst internet censorship law in Africa
Recent draft legislation proposed by the Film and Publication Board to regulate online content has left many people stunned by the degree of poorly defined, draconian, and far-reaching censorship provisions for online content. HUFFINGTON POST
Veteran South Sudan journalist quits over death threats
Nhial Bol, who set up the country’s first independent newspaper printing press, has quit journalism after threats. Bol is the editor of The Citizen newspaper and television station, which were shut by security forces in early August. Seven journalists have been killed so far this year in South Sudan. AFP
Photojournalist attacked in Vanuatu by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Police say they witnessed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Serge Vohor, attack a photographer taking photos for the Daily Post newspaper outside court yesterday following a hearing of the Members of Parliament accused of bribery. Sixteen MPs are in court facing charges of bribery, relating to efforts to overthrow the previous government. RADIO NEW ZEALAND
Editorial: Murong Xuecun: Chinese censorship ‘threat to free world’
One of China’s leading independent writers, Murong Xuecun, warns that Chinese censorship is becoming so pervasive that it is threatening free speech across the world. He had about 8.5 million followers on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, before censors shut down his accounts in May 2013. THE AUSTRALIAN