Winter 2014: Drafting freedom to last
17 Dec 2014

Packed inside this issue, are; an interview with fantasy writer Neil Gaiman; new cartoons from South America drawn especially for this magazine by Bonil and Rayma; new poetry from Australia; and the first ever English translation of Hanoch Levin’s Diary of a Censor; plus articles from Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, Russia and Ukraine.

Also in this issue, authors from around the world including The Observer’s Robert McCrum, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, and Nobel nominee Rita El Khayat consider which clauses they would draft into a 21st century version of the Magna Carta. This collaboration kicks off a special report Drafting Freedom To Last: The Magna Carta’s Past and Present Influences.

Also inside: from Mexico a review of its constitution and its flawed justice system and Turkish novelist Kaya Genç looks at recent intimidation of women writers in Turkey.


The Magna Carta’s past and present influences

Making a 21st-century Magna Carta – Robert McCrum, Hans-Joachim Neubauer, Danny Sriskandarajah, Rita El Khayat, Elif Shafak, Renata Avila, Ferial Haffajee and Stuart White suggest a modern version

1215 and all thatJohn Crace writes a digested Magna Carta

Stripsearch cartoon – Martin Rowson imagines a shock twist for King John

Battle royal – Mark Fenn on Thailand’s harsh crackdown on critics of the monarchy

Land and freedom? – Ritu Menon writes about Indian women gaining power through property

Give me liberty – Peter Kellner on democracy’s debt to the Magna Carta

Constitutionally challenged – Duncan Tucker reports on Mexico’s struggle with state power

Courting disapproval – Shahira Amin on Egypt’s declining justice as the anniversary of the military takeover approaches

Digging into the power system – Sue Branford reports on the growth of indigenous movements in Ecuador and Bolivia

Critical role – Natasha Joseph on how South African justice deals with witchcraft claims


Brave new war – Andrei Aliaksandrau reports on the information war between Russia and Ukraine

Propaganda war obscures Russian soldiers’ deaths – Helen Womack writes about reports of secret burials

Azeri attack – Rebecca Vincent reports on how writers and artists face prison in Azerbaijan

The political is personal  – Arzu Geybullayeva, Azerbaijani journalist, speaks out on the pressures

Really good omens – Martin Rowson interviews fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, listen to our podcast

Police (in)action – Simon Callow argues that authorities should protect staging of controversial plays

Drawing fire – Rayma and Bonil, South American cartoonists’ battle with censorship

Thoughts policed – Max Wind-Cowie writes about a climate where politicians fear to speak their mind

Media under siege or a freer press? – Vicky Baker interviews Argentina’s media defender

Turkey’s “treacherous” women journalists – Kaya Genç writes about dangerous times for female reporters, watch a short video interview

Dark arts – Nargis Tashpulatova talks to three Uzbek artists who speak out on state constraints

Talk is cheap – Steven Borowiec on state control of South Korea’s instant messaging app

Fear of faith – Jemimah Steinfeld looks at a year of persecution for China’s Christians

Time travel to web of the past and future – Mike Godwin’s internet predictions revisited, two decades on


Language lessons – Chen Xiwo writes about how Chinese authors worldwide must not ignore readers at home

Spirit unleashed – Diane Fahey, poetry inspired by an asylum seeker’s tragedy

Diary unlocked – Hanoch Levin’s short story is translated into English for the first time

Oz on trial – John Kinsella, poems on Australia’s “new era of censorship”


Global view – Jodie Ginsberg writes about the power of noise in the fight against censorship

Index around the world – Aimée Hamilton gives an update on Index on Censorship’s work


Humour on record – Vicky Baker  on why parody videos need to be protected


Index on Censorship magazine was started in 1972 and remains the only global magazine dedicated to free expression. Past contributors include Samuel Beckett, Gabriel García Marquéz, Nadine Gordimer, Arthur Miller, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and many more.

Writers picks

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Copies are also available at the BFI, the Serpentine Gallery, MagCulture, (London), News from Nowhere (Liverpool), Home (Manchester), Calton Books (Glasgow) and on Amazon. Each magazine sale helps Index on Censorship continue its fight for free expression worldwide.


Rachael Jolley

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