Continue reading "Netizen Report: Free Speech Under Fire in Catalonia’s Push for Independence"
Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. The story of Catalonia’s push for independence has been one of judicial threats, police violence, digital censorship, and intimidation of journalists both online and off. Although it was technically prohibited by Spain’s Constitutional Court, Catalonia’s regional government organized a referendum, offering its citizens the choice to vote for or against Catalonia becoming an independent state. Forty-three percent of the electorate participated in the vote, which was marred by irregularities including the same people voting twice. A total of 90% favored secession. Weeks before the vote took place, the official website for the referendum — which explained the implications of the referendum and its origins, and also gave citizens practical information about when, where and how to vote — was taken offline by a domain name