Digital transnational repression (DTR) has been a focus of Citizen Lab research for many years. Starting in 2018, we have conducted systematic research into how authoritarian states and state actors use digital technology to reach across borders and target activists, dissidents, and journalists who are living in exile.

In response to the United Nations’ call for input to the report of the Special Rapporteur, we made a submission underlining the challenges faced by women human rights defenders (WHRDs) who live in exile or in the diaspora, and the threats they encounter. 

Our submission defines transnational repression (TR) and DTR,  its scope, and how it leads to a variety of human rights abuses including the rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and peaceful assembly. The authors also examine the gendered dimension of DTR, providing examples of gender-based attacks on WHRDs recommendations to  host countries, international organizations, social media platforms, and other stakeholders. 

Read our full submission.

Read the UN Special Rapporteur’s published report.