Freedom of Expression in the News Weekly Round-up for 8 October 2010

USA: ‘Free speech cases top Supreme Court’s agenda’, 2 October 2010

The US Supreme Court will hear several First Amendment cases in its new term, including anti-gay funeral protests and violence in video games.

USA: ‘Mich. worker’s blog sparks debate on free speech’, 2 October 2010

An assistant Attorney-General in Michigan has spurred debate about the right of public employees to express their opinions in their own time, by using his personal blog to attack the openly gay student body president at the University of Michigan.


Australia:The right to freedom of speech is being threatened in the courtroom’, 3 October 2010

A conservative columnist for the Herald Sun is being sued for claiming that self-identification as an indigenous Australian was fashionable and politicised. There are concerns that the outcome of the case, which touches on a highly sensitive issue, may stifle the freedom of speech, which is not constitutionally protected in Australia, and of political debate.×9.html

Netherlands: ‘Dutch politician on trial for hate speech’, 5 October 2010

According to prosecutors in the trial of Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician has incited hate against Muslims in a series of publications and quotes.

New Zealand: ‘Flag-burning case could reshape freedom of expression’, 5 October 2010

In New Zealand, a case concerning a flag-burning protest at an Anzac Day Ceremony is currently before the Supreme Court. The case could redefine the limits placed on freedom of expression, according to the protester’s lawyers.


Iraq: ‘Press freedom groups warn of rising trend as another journalist killed’, 6 October 2010

Press freedom and safety groups have voiced concerns over escalating dangers to the media in Iraq following the killing of a journalist this week, after a freelance cameraman was killed by a bomb explosion caused by a device attached to his car. The Committee to Protect Journalists has registered its concern about a “rising trend of fatal attacks on journalists” in Iraq.


Lithuania: ‘Media freedom and safety of journalists on priority list for upcoming OSCE chairmanship’, 6 October 2010

Lithuania’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has announced that Lithuania will encourage the governments of the OSCE participating states to take more pro-active measures to ensure the safety journalists and to put more effort into investigating cases of violence against journalists, and will emphasize the importance of media self-regulation.

Netherlands: Free Speech on Trial, 7 October 2010

The trial of Geert Wilders has been hailed as a landmark case, which may establish the limits of free speech in a country where “the political elite routinely seek to silence public discussion”.

France: Man jailed for Facebook insults, 7 October 2010

A man has been jailed for three months for insulting gendarmes on Facebook after he was arrested for drink-driving, in the first conviction of its kind in France.

Fiji: Clampdown on free speech continues

There is concern in Fiji that the departure of the Fiji Times’ long serving editor is the result of a “pro-regime agenda”.


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