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Man jailed for “despicable” comments about missing April Jones

A man who admitted to posting “despicable” comments about missing five-year-old April Jones on his Facebook page has been jailed for 12 weeks. Matthew Woods appeared at Chorley Magistrates’ Court today, where he pleaded guilty to “sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive” (section 127 […]

National Poetry day | Poems by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Zarganar

In its 40-year history, Index has showcased some of the world's most remarkable poets. To mark National Poetry Day, we republish two poets jailed after speaking out

Iran court finds Reuters bureau chief guilty of “spreading lies”

An Iranian court on Sunday convicted the Tehran bureau chief of the Thomson Reuters news agency of “propaganda-related offences” for a video that briefly described a group of women involved in martial arts training as killers. Parisa Hafezi was found guilty of “spreading lies” against the Islamic system for the February video, which initially carried a headline saying that the women […]

Bahrain medics arrested in dawn raids

Bahraini police arrested five medics in a set of dawn raids this morning, one day after the nation’s highest court upheld their prison sentences in a case international rights groups have condemned as politically motivated. Doctor Ali al-Ekry, who faces five years in prison for “possession and concealment” of weapons and “illegal assembly”, was arrested at his home at 5:30am […]

Bahrain medics to remain in jail after appeal refused

In a case that has drawn international condemnation, Bahrain‘s highest court today upheld prison sentences handed down to nine medics for weapons possession, incitement and taking part in illegal demonstrations last year. One of the doctors was sentenced to five years, and the remaining eight were given between a month and three years. Their original sentences of […]

"CleanIT" – even worse than it sounds

Marta Cooper: "CleanIT" - even worse than it sounds

Leveson must protect press freedom

Lord Justice Leveson is weeks away from issuing recommendations for a new system of press regulation. With the future of British papers in the judge’s hands, Index’s Marta Cooper looks at the challenges ahead
Exclusive extracts from our magazine
The Lawyer | Mark Lewis | Do we need a free press? The Blogger | Guido Fawkes | Where will this all end? The Journalist | Trevor Kavanagh | The Leveson effect The Editor | Alan Rusbridger | Striking a balance Hacked Off | Martin Moore | The danger of power

Pakistan: YouTube blocked over anti-Islam film

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has reportedly ordered the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block YouTube after the video-sharing website failed to remove a controversial anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims. “Blasphemous content will not be accepted at any cost,” Prime Minister Ashraf is reported to have said. Earlier today officials said over 700 links to the film […]

Indian cartoonist arrested on sedition charges

The arrest of an anti-corruption cartoonist in India on sedition charges has sparked outrage. Marta Cooper reports

South Africa’s Secrecy Bill: A threat to press freedom or an awakening?

South Africa’s parliament is in its final stages of reviewing a bill that, if passed, could have severe implications for press freedom in the country and the African continent. The Protection of State Information Bill (also known as the Secrecy Bill) could result in the imprisonment of journalists and whistleblowers who possess, publish or leak […]

Who controls the internet?

Marta Cooper: Who controls the internet?

Web 2.0: Don’t shoot the messenger

Search engines and social networking sites are at the heart of Web 2.0. To unreasonably threaten them with liability for user content misses the point, says Marta Cooper