Political journalist Omoyele Sowore arrested and tortured under Nigeria's overbroad "cyberstalking" law

[Omoyele Sowore is a Nigerian journalist and owner of the independent media outlet Saraha Reporters; shortly after the election of President Buhari, Sowore was arrested under the country's anti-cyberstalking laws for "causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria." He's still in jail, where he has been tortured. His case has attracted condemnation from US senators and solidarity from PEN. My EFF colleague Cindy Cohn, who met Sowore through her work on the Bowoto case, prosecuting Chevron for a mass murder in service to oil exploration, wrote a post, crossposted below, about how overbroad, sloppy harassment and stalking bills can be weaponized. -Cory]

EFF has long been concerned that—unless carefully drafted and limited—cyberstalking laws can be misused to criminalize political speech. In fact, earlier this year we celebrated a federal court decision in Washington State in the United States that tossed out an overbroad cyberstalking law. In the case, the law had been used to silence a protester who used strong language and persistence in criticizing a public official. EFF filed anamicus brief in that case where we cautioned that such laws could be easily misused and the court agreed with us. Read the rest

Villagers from three continents will confront Chevron execs at annual meeting

EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn sez,

For about the last 9 years I've been handling a case against Chevron for their involvement in a shooting of unarmed environmental protesters in Nigeria. The case is called Bowoto v. Chevron and it's finally set for trial in San Francisco federal court in September.

Wednesday, May 28 is the 10th anniversary of the shooting and to commemorate it we're bringing our named plaintiff, Larry Bowoto, to California where he'll be addressing Chevron's annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, held that same day.

Mr. Bowoto will be joined by people from Ecuador and Burma, who are also facing environmental and human rights abuse at the hands of Chevron, as well as activists from Richmond, California who are trying to resist a Chevron proposal to refine dirtier oil at that facility. Outside, a coalition of groups including Amazon Watch are sponsoring a protest.

The website describes the planned activities. We'll also be holding a press conference on Tuesday on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

The goal of teaming up activists from around the world is to send a message to Chevron that it can't hide the truth anymore of its poor environmental and human rights record around the world.

More information about the Bowoto v. Chevron case is available here


(Thanks, Cindy!) Read the rest