Freedom of Expression in the News: Weekly round-up 14 May to 20 May 2011

USA: Americans sue Baidu over censorship

Claiming violations of the US Constitution, the eight pro-democracy activists, New York residents, are sueing Baidu Inc and the Chinese government, accusing China’s biggest search engine of conspiring with its rulers to censor pro-democracy speech.


China / Germany: Web freedom debated in Berlin

The second China-Germany Media Forum was held in May, with 20 media executives from both countries attending and exchanging views on the future of Sino-European relations.  Among a wide range of topics, political systems and freedom of expression were of prime concern during the forum. Both sides felt content that the forum offered a good opportunity to achieve mutual understanding.


Morocco: Journalist facing trial tomorrow should be released

Rachid Nini, a Moroccan journalist and editor of the el-Massa daily newspaper, was detained on 28 April following the publication of several articles criticising the counter-terrorism practices of the Moroccan security services, including prison sentences handed down after unfair trials against Islamists.


Iraq: Iraqi government approves draft-law on freedom of opinion, Spokesman says

A draft-law on “Freedom of Expression, Meeting and Peaceful Demonstration” was approved by the Iraq’s Council of Ministers.


Kyrgyzstan: Media owners criminally prosecuted, forced out of the country

“The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Kyrgyz authorities today to drop trumped-up criminal charges against the founder and director of the largest regional television channel, Osh TV, and the founder, owner, and director of three now-defunct media outlets – the independent broadcaster Mezon TV, and newspapers Itogi Nedeli and Portfel…”


Malta: Evangelical Alliance expresses regret, defends freedom of expression

“The Evangelical Alliance of Malta has expressed regret at any unintentional offense caused to the Malta Gay Rights Movement through the public sharing of three members in the River of Love community, ‘who were convicted by the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit to turn away from a homosexual lifestyle’…”


USA: Support for Antipiracy Bill

“The entertainment industry threw its weight behind a proposed law that would give law enforcement officials and others new authority to move against Internet sites that traffic without permission in copyrighted material…”


UK: Sunday Telegraph journalist criticised by high court judge

“A high court judge has criticised a senior Sunday Telegraph journalist, Christopher Booker, over his reporting of a case heard in the family courts last year, as he failed to attend court hearings and based his report of proceedings on an account given to him by one of the parties in the case.”


Canada: CJFE gives Harper government failing grade on access to information

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) published a new report on access to information and gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government a failing grade, saying it has taken longer than ever to access information under his leadership and that information received is far more incomplete



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