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Free expression in the news

By Sean Gallagher / 24 June, 2013

INDEX POLICY PAPER
Is the EU heading in the right direction on digital freedom?
While in principle the EU supports freedom of expression, it has often put more emphasis on digital competitiveness and has been slow to prioritise and protect digital freedom, Brian Pellot, digital policy advisor at Index on Censorship writes in this policy paper
(Index on Censorship)

BELARUS
ZHREO against the Belarus Free Theatre
Authorities continue to pressure against the Belarus Free Theatre. This time, through the housing and maintenance services.
(Charter97.org)

BOSNIA
Bosnians protest as political stalemate leads to infant death
In the shadow of events in Turkey and Brazil, Bosnians have been taking to the streets. For over a week, citizens of the small Balkan country have been protesting their leaders’ failure to pass a new law on citizen identification numbers, leaving babies unable to travel for medical care. Milana Knezevic writes
(Index on Censorship)

BRAZIL
Unity in defense of freedom of expression of working-class and youth organisations
The right wing is attempting to co-opt the huge demonstrations of the last few days by introducing a bias towards nationalism, against corruption, against PEC 37, etc. There have also been some placards against abortion, for a military coup, and for Joaquim Barbosa (President of the Supreme Court who condemned the PT leaders without evidence in Criminal Case 470) to become the new president of the republic.
(In Defense of Marxism)

CANADA
More is less: Feds boost information services amid complaints of tighter control
The federal government employs nearly 4,000 communications staff in the public service, an increase of 15.3 per cent since the Conservatives came to power in 2006.“sanitized” results.
(Winnipeg Free Press)

CHINA
Weibo Censors Difficult to Detect
For Tea Leaf Nation, Jason Ng claims that Sina Weibo’s censorship has become increasingly opaque in the past months with the reduction of keyword blocks that allow one to easily discern banned search terms. Now, users can find previously banned terms like Xi Jinping or even June 4th, but the search yields “sanitized” results.
(China Digital Times)

EGYPT
Egypt’s army to step in if anti-Morsi rallies become violent
Army says it will intervene because demonstrations against President Morsi are ‘an attack on the will of the people’
(The Guardian)

GLOBAL
Net censorship may backfire
The impulse to protect our children is universal and for so long now filtering or blocking certain Internet sites has been a part of that. There are strong justifications for this, of course. While the Internet is a valuable tool for both information and communication, there is much that it offers is of no value to anyone and considerable potential harm.
(Arab News)

JAPAN
‘Hate speech’ in the media, but not the legal code
This writer, on previous occasions, has expressed irritation over the recent tendency for the vernacular media to rely heavily on English borrowings for neologisms with socially negative connotations, such as sexual harassment, stalking and domestic violence — to name three examples.
(The Japan Times)

MACEDONIA
Macedonia must not silence critical media, UN expert says
Macedonia must allow space for critical media, Frank La Rue, UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of expression said on June 21 2013, saying the closure of a television station and some newspapers in 2011 sends worrying signals about free expression in the country.
(The Sofia Globe)

RUSSIA
Pussy Riot in London: “We are now in a fight. When the world is less sexist, then we will celebrate”
Index’s Padraig Reidy speaks to two members of the Russian feminist punk group on a secret trip to the UK
(Index on Censorship)

UNITED KINGDOM
In Britain, a debate over freedom of the tweet
After the recent slaying of a British soldier in a suspected Islamist extremist attack, angry social media users took to Twitter and Facebook, with some dispatching racially and religiously charged comments. For at least a half-dozen users, their comments landed them in jail.
(Richmond Times-Dispatch)

UNITED STATES
Edward Snowden: diplomatic storm swirls as whistleblower seeks asylum in Ecuador
Whistleblower escapes from Hong Kong to Moscow on a commercial flight despite a formal US extradition request
(The Guardian)

Free speech on the Strip
Some good news on the free speech front: Clark County government now has a hands-off approach on protests, demonstrations and political expression.
(Las Vegas Review Journal)

‘Stop word police!’: Glenn Beck defends Paula Deen’s right to speak
@glennbeck: Paula dean.Shame on U. 2013 not 1953. also agree with bill mahr who I despise but defended after 9.11.Fight for ALL speech.
(Twitchy)


Previous Free Expression in the News posts
June 21 | June 20 | June 19 |
June 18 | June 17 | June 14 | June 13 | June 12


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