Freedom of Expression in the News: Weekly round-up 21 May to 27 May 2011

 Morocco: Journalist facing trial tomorrow should be released

According to Amnesty International (AI), the Moroccan journalist “must be released immediately and unconditionally if he is being held solely for his writing,” as it is wrong to detain a journalist only for criticising the counter-terrorism law and corruption. Furthermore AI held that “the Moroccan authorities continue to curb freedom of expression on sensitive issues that touch upon national security, territorial integrity and the monarchy. Human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and others still face intimidation and even prosecution when they transcend certain ‘red lines’.”

Link: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=19455

European Neo-Nazi websites setting up in the U.S. to take advantage of free speech laws

The U.S. norm is that people are free to say anything as long as it doesn’t infringe upon another person’s rights. In Austria, freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution but is limited by a ban on propagating Nazi ideology. Nowadays, groups on the extreme-right are turning to U.S.-based web servers to spread extremist rhetoric.

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1390461/Nazi-websites-skirt-European-restrictions-basing-US.html

UK: Human Rights Act ‘may need amending’ in privacy row

 “The Human Rights Act may need to be amended to resolve the conflict between privacy and freedom of speech in UK law, a senior MP has said.”

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13518674

G-8 Leaders to Call for Tighter Internet Regulation

According to some sources, the Group of 8 leaders are set to issue a draft of a communiqué which calls for stronger Internet regulation but is opposed by some Internet companies and free-speech groups. However, the document is further expected to include a pledge to maintain openness and to support entrepreneurial, rather than government-led, development of the Internet.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/technology/25tech.html?_r=2&ref=freedomofspeechandexpression

An arrow through the heart of freedom Guardian Opinion Letters

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/25/arrow-through-heart-of-freedom

Media freedom group says party of Zimbabwe’s ruler keeps ‘stranglehold’ on broadcasting

On Africa Freedom Day, the Media Institute of Southern Africa criticized Zimbabwe’s president for limited independent broadcasting and free expression and the existence of only one broadcast station airing on four radio wavelengths and two television channels.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/media-freedom-group-says-party-of-zimbabwes-ruler-keeps-stranglehold-on-broadcasting/2011/05/25/AG9sGGBH_story.html

Violent media intimidation in Yemen and Bahrain

“The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the governments of Yemen and Bahrain to end all intimidation and harassment of and physical violence against journalists.”

Link: http://www.ifex.org/bahrain/2011/05/25/violent_media_intimidation/

 

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