Free speech & the law: “Hate Speech” & Non-Discrimination

Although there is no single “hate speech law” in the UK, nor any agreed international definition of the term, a number of laws forbid hatred or discrimination against individuals or groups, which can include things people say, based on colour, race, ethnicity and nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.

Free speech & the law: Child Protection

Child protection is a sensitive area of law and a deserved focus of public concern. As there is no clear legal definition of the concept of indecency, and because of the sensitivity of the matter, decisions made by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can be subjective and inconsistent, and in the wrong context can seriously compromise freedom of expression rights.

Free speech & the law: Obscene Publications

It is nearly 300 years since bookseller Edmund Curll was convicted in 1727 on a charge of obscenity in an English court for his publication of the mildly pornographic Venus in the Cloister or The Nun in Her Smock. Obscenity was thereafter recognised as a crime under common law.

Free speech & the law: Public Order

Under the Human Rights Act 1998, police officers must respect people’s right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, Article 10 of the convention states that restrictions on people’s free expression rights may be justified on the grounds of preventing disorder or crime, protecting public safety and protecting the rights of others

Free speech & the law: Counter Terrorism

Counter-terrorism laws seek to address the application of "violence for political ends". It is the "political ends" element that makes these laws interact so frequently with free expression rights, as the law tries to clamp down on expressions of sympathy with terrorist organisations and ideologies, as well as any resulting violence.

Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg to step down in 2020

Jodie Ginsberg to join Internews Europe as CEO Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg will step down in early 2020 after five and a half years in the role, Index said on Wednesday. The board, chaired by Trevor Phillips since 2018, will launch the search...

Index calls the re-arrest of novelist Ahmet Altan “arbitrary and cruel”

Turkish authorities re-arrested the internationally known Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan just one week after his release from more than three years in detention. Index on Censorship and 24 other NGOs say that his re-arrest, on 12 November, was an extraordinarily low...

Free speech and human rights organisations call for Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and other journalists to be released

Ahead of the second hearing in the retrial of Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and four other journalists and media workers, free speech organisations call for all detained defendants to be released and for the charges to be dropped

Call to end impunity for those involved in journalists’ murders

Index and partner organisations are calling on governments to end impunity for crimes against journalists


Ruth Anderson

CEO at Index on Censorship

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Georgia’s foreign agent bill: an existential threat to democracy

by | May 17, 2024 | Georgia,News and features,Opinion,Ruth's blog,Slovakia | 0 Comments

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in an attempt to stop the country’s slide into authoritarianism

The death of North Korea’s propaganda chief marks the end of an era

by | May 10, 2024 | News and features,North Korea,Opinion,Ruth's blog | 0 Comments

Kim Ki Nam spent decades shaping the narrative of the totalitarian state and building a personality cult around the ruling Kim dynasty

Burkina Faso has chosen the tool of the tyrant

by | May 3, 2024 | Afghanistan,Burkina Faso,Burma,Ethiopia,Georgia,Hong Kong,News and features,Opinion,Ruth's blog | 0 Comments

A report into the death of 223 civilians in the African state has led to a clampdown on the media

Toomaj Salehi: A voice of defiance

by | Apr 26, 2024 | Iran,News and features,Opinion,Ruth's blog | 0 Comments

Our 2023 Freedom of Expression Art Award winner was jailed for the power of his words. Now he faces the death sentence

Why critics like Jay Rayner have a role in battling self-censorship

by | Apr 12, 2024 | Israel,News and features,Opinion,Palestine,Ruth's blog,United Kingdom | 0 Comments

Our CEO ponders the challenges of being a reviewer after reading the latest column from the Observer’s restaurant writer

Reflections six months on from 7 October

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Israel,News and features,Opinion,Palestine,Ruth's blog | 0 Comments

Our CEO says that we must address the root causes of a conflict that has led to the deaths of more than 31,000 people