Taking the offensive – defending artistic freedom of expression in the UK
Report Contents: Summary | Introduction | What is artistic freedom of expression? | What are the limits to freedom of expression? | Institutional self-censorship | Reinforcing support for artistic freedom of expression | Conclusion | Appendix I: Audience Feedback and Statistics | Appendix II: Conference Programme | Appendix III: Cases of Censored Artwork | Artist Videos | Full report in PDF
10 June: Caught in the web: how free are we online?
The internet: free open space, wild wild west, or totalitarian state? However you view the web, in today’s world it is bringing both opportunities and threats for free expression.
22 June: Turkey vs the UK: what’s the score on free expression?
The Turkish Writers Football Club is coming to London to play the England Writers Team and the pressure is on. But it’s not just about sport. Index on Censorship is grabbing the chance to bring both sides together to debate the state of free expression in both countries.
UN report calls for freedom of expression in post-2015 development
Calling for a transformation in the approach to global development that includes a larger role for freedom of expression, the United Nations’ High Level Panel of Eminent Persons released its Post-2015 Development Agenda report, Milana Knezevic writes. (Index on Censorship)
Bahrain court jails three protesters
A Bahrain court on Monday jailed three protesters for up to 15 years on charges including attempting to kill a policeman and taking part in anti-government demonstrations, a lawyer said. (AhramOnline)
CJFE disturbed by arrest of Toronto Star reporter
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is concerned about the arrest and treatment of Toronto Star journalist Alex Consiglio, charged with trespassing for taking photos on June 2 of an injured GO Transit officer at Union Station in Toronto. (Press Release)
Jordan blocks over 200 ‘unlicensed’ websites
The Jordanian government began blocking over 200 websites on Sunday for failing to obtain licenses under a strict set of new guidelines, Ruth Michaelson reports. (Index on Censorship)
‘Tanda Putera’: Let the public decide, say legal activists
Show the movie Tanda Putera and let the public decide – as to do otherwise would amount to stifling freedom of speech, say legal activists. (The Sun)
Freedom of Expression: The Second Arab Battle
Syria and the uprisings in Bahrain and other countries represent one of the two important battles underway in the Arab world, whose outcomes will largely determine the future shape of Arab political systems. The second battle is not about who rules in a country, but rather about the right of a citizen to express him or herself. (Cairo Review of Global Affairs)
Singapore’s new website licensing seen as censorship
The Government in Singapore has introduced new rules meaning popular news websites have to apply for a licence if they want to keep operating. (ABC/Radio Australia)
Taiwan backs off plan to block sites violating copyright laws
Taiwan’s authorities in charge of intellectual property protection have decided to give up a plan to block overseas Internet services that violate copyright laws amid opposition to the plan from free-speech advocates.
In Tunisia, a free speech tussle could land a professor in jail
Last year a Tunisian academic complained that a member of the constitutional drafting committee had watered down free speech protections in the document. (Christian Science Monitor)
Turkey losing its way on free speech
The protests erupting across Turkey have shown a wider audience – domestic and international – the increasingly problematic nature of Turkish democracy, and its growing authoritarian tendencies. Index on Censorship CEO Kirsty Hughes writes (Index on Censorship)
“There is now a menace called Twitter”
Against a backdrop of unrest that started in an Istanbul park last week and has spread throughout the country, Ece Temelkuran asks why the Turkish government is afraid of the internet (Index on Censorship)
Ukraine holds first gay pride parade amidst intolerance and suppression
Ukraine successfully held the country’s first ever gay pride parade, but the level of intimidation faced by the LGBT community is growing. Andrew Connelly reports from Kiev (Index on Censorship)
AFDI to Protest Justice Department’s Attempt to Criminalize Criticism of Islam
The human rights organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) is holding a demonstration for free speech in Tennessee, at the site of a Justice Department initiative advising the application of civil rights laws to shut down criticism of Islam. (Press Release)
Christian Group Believes Atheists Have Right to Post Monument at Fla. Courthouse
A member of a Christian organization that posted a Decalogue outside a Florida courthouse said an atheist group posting a monument in the same location has the right to do so. (The Christian Post)
Terminated employee’s free speech case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court
An attorney monitoring a First Amendment case from Ohio being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court says it could set a precedent for religious freedom in the United States.
(One News Now)
The United States vs. Freedom of Speech
The criminalization of journalists in the United States is not a new occurrence, but the overt and veiled threats to reporters and their sources is becoming less of a rarity. (Huffington Post)
Pitching a Tent Is Free Speech, Says ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against the City of Columbus on behalf of the local Occupy Wall Street group. The complaint, filed on May 30 in U.S. District Court, claimed that placing a tent or other structure that “is not easily movable” in a public space qualifies as free speech protected by the First Amendment and the state constitution.
U.S. Attorney says Muslim tolerance event will discuss free speech rights
An event federal prosecutors and the FBI are planning Tuesday to discuss the enforcement of civil rights laws to protect Muslims will also focus on what kinds of speech are guaranteed by the First Amendment, U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said in a statement Monday.
The Distasteful Side of Social Media Puts Advertisers on Their Guard
As social media sites pursue advertising in a bid for new revenue, they are finding that they must simultaneously create a safe space for the advertisers they attract.
(The New York Times)