Hivos International

Internet Freedom

Syrian Hivos partner executed three years after his detention

Last week, Bassel’s wife and closest family members announced his death was officially confirmed by the Assad regime. For me and his other friends this was extremely sad to hear, although after two years without any news about or from him, the chances he was still alive were minimal.

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet in a way that will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

The city of Valencia hosted the 3rd Internet Freedom Festival from 5-10  March 2017. The festival brought together a diverse group of over 1200 people from 114 countries to discuss issues related to privacy, anonymity, access to information and policy and advocacy for Internet freedom.  Internet Freedom in Africa was widely discussed with the issues of privacy, repressive regulations, Internet shutdowns, and user awareness on rights and government surveillance.

As Hivos, we fully believe that freedom of expression and the media is a basic requirement for citizens to stay informed, express an opinion and become civically involved in society. Across the globe, the internet has been growing as a medium of communication, facilitating freedom of expression and economic development. In countries where the internet is free, enterprising people have come up with innovations that have and continue to produce great economic returns, providing not only jobs but new ways of conducting human affairs.