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Time is running out and we need your submissions!

01-Starting-NOW_Bobs-2015_Milestoneposting_600x240pxThere are only three days left to submit the most interesting and informative blogs, online initiatives and websites to The Bobs! What are the projects that interest you?

We’re looking for the best of online activism – so let us know about the most inspiring projects dealing with education and equality. We also want to know about the social change initiatives you think are making the world a better place. Know of an app or stumbled over a website that’s helping you protect your data and your privacy? What about artistic, cultural and innovative ways of conveying data that keeps the public informed? We want to know about all of them – and are open to suggestions in 14 languages.

In fact, each language will have five creative and extraordinary finalists and we’re counting on you to find the best of the online best around the world.

Get your suggestions in soon – anything that isn’t registered by noon on March 12 (German time) won’t be eligible to win The Bobs 2015. So you’d better hurry.

The Bobs 2014 nominee murdered in Bangladesh

Prominent blogger and author Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, were attacked on the street in Dhaka by a group of armed Islamists on a crowded sidewalk. Roy suffered from major head wounds and died shortly after the attack during an emergency operation. His wife barely survived the attack.

Roy, an American citizen, was nominated in The Bobs in 2014 in the Best Blog category and known for speaking out against religious extremism. His blog “Mukto-Mona,” or “Free Mind,” was regarded as one of the key platforms and voices for liberal secularism in Bangladesh. The Bobs Bengali jury member, Shahidul Alam said such actions cannot be allowed to continue and posted this picture:

Roy is not the first victim of radical Islamists in Bangladesh. In 2013, atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was murdered in a similarly brutal fashion. The Bobs 2012 prize winner Asif Mohiuddin was also seriously injured when he was stabbed in January 2013.

The Bobs to join Shihidul Alam’s call. These horrible acts of violence – and other ones like them – against atheists in Bangladesh cannot be allowed to continue.

RIP #AvijitRoy
More information on Avijit Roy

DW Freedom of Speech Award for Raif Badawi

raif_badawi_posting_600x240pxImprisoned blogger Raif Badawi of Saudi Arabia is to receive DW’s first “Freedom of Speech” award. DW is awarding the prize as part of its international online awards “The Bobs.”

“The Deutsche Welle Executive Board decided unanimously in favor of Raif Badawi,” said DW Director General Peter Limbourg. “He stands, in an exemplary way, for the brave and fearless commitment to the human right of freedom of expression. Our award sends a signal and contributes to bringing his fate into the public spotlight. We hope this will increase pressure on those responsible in Saudi Arabia to release Badawi.”

The 31-year-old blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced by Saudi authorities in May 2014 to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in prison and a major fine. The first 50 lashes were administered on January 9.

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told Deutsche Welle from Canada: “I am thrilled! The DW Freedom of Speech Award sends a clear message to the Saudi regime. It is a disgrace that Raif is still sitting in prison – especially at a time when Saudi Arabia fights against the ‘Islamic State’ group and its disregard for human rights. I am extremely thankful to Deutsche Welle for its support.”

Prize ceremony at the Global Media Forum

As part of the 11th annual competition The Bobs – Best of Online Activism, Deutsche Welle commends outstanding online activists and projects. This year, DW established the Freedom of Speech Award to honor a person or initiative that promotes freedom of expression in the digital world in an exceptional way.

The winner of the Freedom of Speech Award as well as the winners of The Bobs three jury categories will be recognized on June 23 at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.

Fearless for freedom of expression

Raif Badawi has fought for freedom of expression in his country for years. The website he created, Free Saudi Liberals, addresses political and societal grievances in Saudi Arabia. He published, for example, a sarcastic article about the religious police and named a major university in his country a den of terrorists. He also wrote about Valentines Day, which is also forbidden in Saudi Arabia. In June 2012, he was again arrested and accused of insulting Islam, religious leaders and politicians. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, fled Saudi Arabia with their three children in 2013 and found political asylum in Canada.

Make your submissions now!

02-Starting-NOW_Bobs-2015_Milestoneposting_600x240pxThe Bobs are underway with a new look and orientation. In addition to the Jury Categories of Social Change, Privacy & Security and Arts & Media, Deutsche Welle will also hand out the Freedom of Speech Award.

The international Jury will determine the winners in the contest’s multilingual categories while an online vote open to all Internet users will determine the winners of The Bobs’ 14 language-specific categories.

Taking submissions until March 12

Starting today, you can make submissions for all 17 categories at The Bobs. Then it will be up to the jury to decide on a list of nominees in each category. The more exciting, innovative and interesting your submissions now, the better the contest will be when it comes time to determine the winners.

Who can participate?

Submissions must be in one of the contest’s languages (which are Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian). Websites need to be freely accessible to the general public – that means no passwords allowed. Don’t get hung up on online formats, the contest is open to Facebook pages, YouTube channels, microblogs, podcasts – whatever online material you find interesting and inspiring is welcome at The Bobs. Check out our Rules if you’re aching for more detailed regulations.

Jury Categories

The jury members will get together in Berlin in may to determine the winners of the three Jury Categories, which consist of nominees from each of The Bobs’ 14 languages. The themes of these categories are Social Change, Privacy & Security and Arts & Media.

Voting Categories

But that’s not all at The Bobs. There are also 14 language-specific categories (one for each of the contest’s languages). Winners in these categories will be determined by an online vote stating on April 9.

On May 3 all the winners will be announced right here at Check out the Timeline for the contest’s other important dates.

Freedom of Speech Award

For the first time, Deutsche Welle will be handing out the Freedom of Speech Award. It honors a person or initiative that takes an exemplary stand for human rights and freedom of expression in the digital world.

The winner of the Freedom Speech Award and winners in the three Jury Categories will all be invited to receive their awards as part of Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, (June 22-24). The theme of this year’s conference is Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age.

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