Freedom of Expression in the News: Weekly round-up, 16 August 2010

Mexico: ‘Journalists March to Denounce Violence and Intimidation’, August 9, 2010

Hundreds of Mexican journalists marched in cities nationwide to demand an end to violence, intimidation and harassment by drugs gangs. More than 64 journalists have been killed and 11 more have gone missing since 2000 in Mexico.

United States: ‘WikiLeaks swear to keep publishing documents, despite U.S. wishes’, August 9, 2010

Despite U.S.Government demands that the site cease publication of classified documents, WikiLeaks’ spokesman promised to press on with its whistleblowing objective. The spokesperson, who goes by the name Daniel Schmitt in order to protect his identity, argued that by publishing knowledge regarding the Afghan war, WikiLeaks is helping make the world safer.

China: Book criticising China’s Premier set for release despite jail threat, August 9, 2010

Hong Kong-based New Century Press, which has published politically sensitive books in the past, have published a controversial book that criticises China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, despite police warning its dissident author that he could end up in jail.

South Africa: call for evidence that there is need for ANC media tribunal intended
to counter unsubstantiated reporting, August 10, 2010

Media Monitoring Africa says that there is a risk that the media appeals tribunal being set up to deal with what the ANC sees as irresponsible and unfair reporting could itself be accused of making unsubstantiated accusations, unless that to which its is the response is evidenced.

Indonesia: Two environmental reporters found dead; threats to journalists escalate, August 11, 2010

Indonesian journalists are under pressure for reporting on environmental degradation and local politics, with threats escalating prior to local elections in August and September.

United States: ‘Obama approves US libel tourist laws’, August 12, 2010

The recently Congress-passed Speech Act makes foreign libel rulings virtually unenforceable in US courts. No longer will people be able to take advantage of the United Kingdom’s claimant-friendly libel laws to silence free speech in the United States.

Jordan: Cyber Crimes Law criticised for shackling media, August 12, 2010

The National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) in Amman criticised the recently endorsed temporary Cyber Crimes Law, emphasising that freedom of expression includes the right to obtain and impart information and ideas to others without limitations, via all available media.

United Kingdom: privacy law to quell superinjunctions, August 17, 2010

Fears that the balance between defamation and freedom of expression have tilted too far the way of defamation, with trading firm Trafigura and former England football team captain John Terry seeking superinjunctions against the very existence of a case being reported, have the government considering a new privacy law. The case law that has grown up in this area has made the United Kingdom the jurisdiction of choice for individuals and corporations seeking to silence their critics.


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