Free expression in the news
13 Jun 2013

WA premier denies censorship over PM event
THE West Australian government scuppered the venue booking for a Labor fundraiser featuring Prime Minister Julia Gillard, but claims it was not political censorship.
(Herald Sun)

The first rule of dictator club…
Belarus’s president Alexander Lukashenko will be able to count on some “like-minded” friends when it comes to a vote on his human rights record at the UN this week. Andrei Aliaksandrau reports
(Index on Censorship)

Belarus tries opposition activist for treason
An oil refinery mechanic went on trial in Belarus on Wednesday on treason charges after the government said it had foiled his attempt to pass information to foreign powers.
(Business Recorder)

Bulgaria’s Ex PM Launched ‘Spate’ of Libel Lawsuits
Boyko Borisov, former Prime Minister and current leader of center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, has informed that he has launched a number of libel lawsuits, with plans to use the proceeds for charity.

Ashley Madison repeats ‘censorship’ cry as CougarLife jokes canned in Canada is crying “censorship” over an ad in which a busty woman runs roughshod over younger women in a bar while explaining why cougars are better dates, because a Canadian regulatory body—the Television Bureau of Canada—has ordered that it can’t be aired unless the sandwich-shoving and the chair-pushing shots are removed.

Greeks protest public broadcast closure
It happened so quickly, few people inside Greece, and fewer watching from outside could comprehend it. Antonis Samaras, prime minister and leader of the Greek coalition government, announced that the state TV channel ERT, the equivalent of the BBC, would be shut down from midnight on 11 June. Dawn Foster reports.

Analysis: Divided EU in a bind over Hungary’s ‘erring’ Orban
Europe is in a bind over what to do about Hungary and a feeling that the former Soviet satellite is drifting back towards authoritarianism under Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Caught in a web of censorship
Deepesh T. is only one feature film old but he is already feeling the heat of censorship. As a teacher of drawing at CHMHS, Thillankeri in Kannur, he always exhorts students to speak the truth. The filmmaker in him is no different.
(The Hindu)

Internet Censorship in Pakistan
As the people of Pakistan celebrate a historic turning point, the first successful transfer of power from one civilian government to other in the nation’s 65-year history, the country faces numerous challenges in the road to development and democracy.
(Voice of Journalists)

Pugad Baboy and freedom of expression
There appears to be some misunderstanding on the nature of freedom of expression lately.
(Manila Standard)

Anti-gay law passes in Russia
New legislation against “homosexual propaganda” has been passed against backdrop of piousness and machismo of Putinism, says Padraig Reidy
(Index on Censorship)

Russia introduces jail terms for ‘religious offenders’
A controversial law introducing jail sentences for the crime of offending religious believers was approved by Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday.
(The Telegraph)

Tunisia jails three Europeans for topless feminist protest
A Tunisian court sentenced three European feminist activists to four months in jail on Wednesday after they demonstrated topless in central Tunis last month against the Islamist-led government, one of their lawyers said.

Turkey’s Taksim Square cleared after violent clashes
In a bid to gain control of Taksim Square, Turkish security forces last night clashed with antigovernment protesters camped out in Istanbul’s centre. Sara Yasin reports
(Index on Censorship)

US cautions Turkey on ‘punishing protesters exercising their right to free speech’
The United States on June 15 cautioned Turkish authorities against seeking to punish any demonstrators merely for exercising their right to free speech in the latest of several statements that have been addressed during the ongoing Gezi Park protests.
(Hurriyet Daily News)

Turkey’s history of military coups hangs over protests
Turkey’s “pashas”, the generals who once made politicians quake at the mere hint of disapproval, are staying silent as riots sweep the nation. Today the words “military coup” are nowhere to be heard, a tribute perhaps to the prime minister now accused of trampling on democracy.

Prism surveillance: spies thrive in the internet’s legal free-for-all
MPs almost wear their technophobia with pride. No wonder William Hague faced no serious questioning in the Commons
(The Guardian)

Drug laws amount to scientific censorship, says David Nutt
Former government adviser says illegal status of psychoactive drugs stymies research into their potential therapeutic uses
(The Guardian)

‘This rigmarole feels wrong,’ says journalist at centre of free speech row
Ahead of his talk about the Church of Scientology at the Senedd on Monday, BBC Panorama journalist John Sweeney says Cardiff council’s decision not to allow him to speak at Cardiff Library is a matter of free speech
(Wales Online)

Out of order! Speaker’s wife Sally sells furniture on eBay from flat in Parliament
Sally Bercow has blundered into controversy again – by flogging antiques from her free home in Parliament.
(Daily Mail)

Free speech outside Supreme Court: Ban on protests in plaza struck down
A 60-year-old statute barring all protest on the marble plaza outside the US Supreme Court is ‘irreconcilable with the First Amendment,’ a federal judge in Washington ruled.
(The Christian Science Monitor)

Fleming proposal to require free religious expression in military draws White House objections
The Obama administration is objecting to a proposed amendment by Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, that would require the military to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, “actions and speech” reflecting the “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.”
(The Times-Picayune)

Believers, nonbelievers vent over religious expressions during graduation
Graduation, religion and free speech combined for the perfect storm at the conclusion of the 2013 high school year.
(Deseret News)

PRISM Class-Action Lawsuit Filed: $20B, Injunction Sought Against ‘Complicit’ Companies and Officials
Lawsuit says Obama chilled free speech; attorney encourages citizens to ‘man the barricades of freedom’
(US News and World Report)

Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution
What Edward Snowden has done is an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience.
(The Guardian)

EDITORIAL: Trampling free speech
In a surveillance society, it’s wise to watch your words. A careless, offhand remark on Facebook can be grounds for a sacking or even probable cause for arrest, just for speaking your piece.
(The Washington Times)

Spies Without Borders I: Using Domestic Networks to Spy on the World
Much of the U.S. media coverage of last week’s NSA revelations has concentrated on its impact on the constitutional rights of U.S.-based Internet users. But what about the billions of Internet users around the world whose private information is stored on U.S. servers, or whose data travels across U.S. networks or is otherwise accessible through them?

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