Free expression in the news
08 May 2013

The Bobs announce winners of online activism award
Jury members at The Bobs gave out honors to bloggers and online activists for their work promoting freedom of expression, human rights and the right to information. Internet users also voted for their own set of winners. (DW)

Dreyfus says Brandis stands for hate speech
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has accused the opposition of defending hate speech, not free speech, after his Coalition counterpart George Brandis’s charge that the government was waging war against freedom of expression. (The Australian)

Students ridiculed for Christian beliefs speak out in video
Public school students who’ve endured ridicule for their Christian beliefs created a newly released video, titled “The Thaw”, in which they ask, “Why can’t I pray in school? Why am I called names because I believe in marriage the way God designed it? Why can’t Tim Tebow praise God after making a touchdown without causing a national uproar?” (Christian Today Australia)

“Cult of secrecy” pervades Canada’s Access to Information system, report says
Secrecy is at the heart of the annual Review of Free Expression in Canada released on Friday, May 3, by the organization Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE). Observing a “cult of secrecy” in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, CJFE lamented the state of the country’s “dysfunctional” Access to Information Act, a sunshine law, and warned about a bill that could undermine the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) journalistic independence. (Journalism in the Americas

Is Russia’s social network chief really a free speech martyr?
The beautiful thing about a really good conspiracy theory is that it’s nearly impossible to disprove. And that’s especially true in Russia, where so much, so often, is so murky. (Washington Post)

Russia’s only independent pollster resists ‘foreign agent’ tag
Russia’s only independent pollster could be forced to register as a foreign agent under a law which President Vladimir Putin’s critics say is designed to tighten controls on groups that do not toe the official line. (Reuters

SJU Calls for Ending Censorship over Press
The Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) affirmed its full support and firm adherence to the freedom of the press and strongly rejected imposition of any exceptional measures on the rights of newspapers and journalists. (Sudan Vision

Editorial: Free speech under attack
It is hardly unprecedented, but it has been a while since a forum on democracy unleashed such a great anti-democratic blowback. (Bangkok Post)

Press Release: Tunisian government finally appoints Independent Broadcasting Authority
Reporters Without Borders hails President Moncef Marzouki’s long-overdue announcement on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, of the composition of the nine-member Independent Broadcasting Authority (HAICA). Nouri Lejmi, a teacher at the Institute for Press and Information Sciences (IPSI), is to be its president. (Reporters Without Borders)

Leveson: former Army officer advising the Queen on royal charter successfully sued a journalist for libel
The former Army officer advising the Queen on the royal charter on press regulation won a legal battle against an investigative journalist who raised questions about his activities in Cambodia in the Eighties. (The Telegraph)

Duluth City Council to Address Free Speech Lawsuit for Bentleyville in Special Session
The free speech lawsuit involving Duluth’s holiday light show Bentleyville is back in the spot light as City Councilors plan a special meeting to discuss the litigation. (Northlands News Center)

Anne Frank’s Diary in US schools censorship battle
Anti-censorship campaigners fight parent in Michigan over allegedly graphic passages in Diary of Young Girl (The Guardian)

Sean Gallagher

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