Freedom of Expression Round-Up 25-29 October 2010

Jordan: ‘Jordan says freedom of expression guaranteed in election’, 23 October 2010

 Jordan’s information minister said on Saturday that freedom of expression was guaranteed after Human Rights Watch said there had been several arrests ahead of a November 9 general election.


 Wales: ‘Solicitors in Cardiff take on Facebook defamation cases’, 24 October 2010

 A legal firm says it has taken forward six defamation actions involving Facebook in the last nine months.


 Swaziland: ‘Swaziland prime minister threatens to censor columnists’, 22 October 2010

 The new Swaziland’s Prime Minister announced his intention to create a law requiring columnists to seek permission before they write any critics against the government.


 Russia: ‘Moscow marches – but not for long’ 25 October 2010

 Citizen of Moscow marched for the departure of Prime Minister Vladimir Poutine but it was the last authorised protests, despite claiming their freedom of expression.


 Egypt: ‘Elections monitor: Media restrictions; record campaign spending’, 25 October 2010

 The Egyptian government recently decided to close several satellite channels and put some restrictions on media. This has raised international and domestic concern over freedom of expression violation.


 Turkey: IPI: “Coup on Press Freedom”

The Turkish news channel CNN Türk was punished by RTÜK for criticism on President Gül voiced by the Secretary General of the Labour Party. The International Press Institute disapproved the decision and assessed it as an intended deterrence from freedom of expression.


 Burma: Thirty-three IFEX members call for freedom of expression during historic elections

 Freedom of expression is seriously endangered in Burma before the November 2010 national elections and NGOs and associations call the Burmese government to respect the right of the Burmese people to be informed of the electoral process.


 Azerbaijan: Human Rights Watch says Azerbaijani journalists face violence and prosecution

 Human Rights Watch reported that journalists in Azerbaijan are facing violence and prosecution from their government not to give their views on the government’s politics.


 Somalia: NUSOJ makes submission to UN Universal Periodic Review, 28 October 2010

 The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today provided a submission about widespread and routine violations of the right to freedom of expression, particularly freedom of the press, to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR).


 UK: ASA accused of ‘sinister threat to freedom of expression’, 28 October 2010

The National Secular Society (NSS) has accused the advertising watchdog of “reintroducing the blasphemy law” following its decision to ban the Antonio Federici ice cream advert showing two priests about to kiss.


Canada: Supreme Court to hear appeal, 29 October 2010

 Canada’s highest court will hear an appeal in a case that saw a former Regina-based religious activist defending his right to free speech after distributing controversial flyers in Regina and Saskatoon.


 Study shows blasphemy laws pose extreme threat to human rights

Freedom House has published a new report, Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights which examines the human rights implications of domestic blasphemy and religious insult laws using the case studies of seven countries — Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Poland — where such laws exist both on paper and in practice.





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