Free expression in the news
28 May 2013

Photographers withdraw from Vivid over censorship claims
Two international photographers have withdrawn their works from an exhibition in Sydney in protest over what one has described as censorship. (ABC News)

In Azerbaijan, authorities use ‘Harlem Shake’ to silence activist
The recent arrest of Ilkin Rustamzadeh highlights how Azerbaijan’s authorities use trumped up charges to silence messages they are not comfortable with, blogger Ali Novruzov writes from Baku. (Index on Censorship)

´Ai Weiwei´s work embodies freedom of speech´
The popularity of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei in the Netherlands is largely fueled by the Dutch love of art that hovers on the edge of acceptability. This commitment to pushing the boundaries of freedom of expression is evident in the exhibition FUCK OFF 2 which he’s curated and which opens at the Groninger Museum on Sunday. (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Al-Jazeera draws fire over self-censorship
The Qatar-based al-Jazeera network has been criticized over its decision to remove a controversial article posted on its website amid claims the story was “anti-Jewish” in a seemingly self-censoring act. (

Interpol Rebuffs Russia in Its Hunt for a Kremlin Critic
Interpol has rejected a Russian request for a worldwide police hunt for William F. Browder, a British investment banker and a Kremlin nemesis who has made no secret of his whereabouts or of his battle against the government of President Vladimir V. Putin over accusations of human rights abuses. (New York Times)

Russia: Gay Rights Activists Arrested At Rally
Dozens of activists at a gay pride march in Moscow have been arrested by Russian police. (Sky News)

Tunisia’s ‘topless feminist’ faces jail for having pepper spray
The lawyer of a Tunisian woman who gained notoriety for posting online topless pictures of herself as a protest says she faces six months in prison for carrying a dangerous object. (AP via CBS47)

Turkey Kissing Protest Held In Subway As Couples Defy Ban On Public Displays Of Affection
Dozens of couples have locked lips at a subway stop in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, to protest subway authorities’ admonishment of a couple that kissed in public. (AP via Huffington Post)

Turkey takes important steps to end human rights violations
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said on Thursday that Turkey has made significant improvements in human rights, especially in freedom of expression. (Turkish Weekly)

Speaker’s wife faces £150,000 bill for online libel
SPEAKER’S wife Sally Bercow faces a legal bill of £150,000 after losing a libel battle with Lord McAlpine yesterday over a tweet which falsely linked him to allegations of sex abuse. (The Daily Express)

Could “snooper’s charter” stop terror attacks?
Some UK politicians have said the murder of a soldier in Woolwich, London this week demonstrates the need for greater surveillance of communications data. But would a “snooper’s charter” really have made a difference? Index asked Emma Carr of Big Brother Watch and Jamie Bartlett of Demos for their views. (Index on Censorship)

Microsoft Disables Comments For Xbox One Videos Following Harsh Criticisms
Want to let Microsoft know how you feel about the Xbox One? You won’t be able to do it on the official YouTube videos. If you head to Microsoft’s official channel for the Xbox One, the comments for the videos have been aptly disabled. (Gaming Blend)

Attacks on the press should come as no surprise
Freedom of the press. It’s a bedrock of our Constitution, right there in the very first amendment. That means it’s one of the most important freedoms and rights guaranteed to this country, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, all interlocked and interdependent. (Marietta Times)

As UN’s Censorship Alliance Lashes Out from Anonymity, UN Does Nothing
UN scribes from Reuters, Bloomberg News, Voice of America, Agence France Presse and others on the board of the UN Correspondents Association tried to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN in 2012. In 2013 they have started anonymous social media accounts to falsely accuse Inner City Press of being funded by terrorists.
(Inner City Press)

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