Freedom of Speech Roundup

by    /  August 3, 2013  / No comments

In the weekly Freedom of Speech Roundup, Sampsonia Way presents some of the week’s top news on freedom of expression, journalists in danger, artists in exile, and banned literature.

Gezi Park in NYC

Occupy Walls Street in New York City shows support for Gezi Park protesters. Photo: Michael Fleshman via Flickr.

Turkish Government Cracking Down on Journalists, Media Critics

CNN. “All the independent voices are now being silenced,” the fired ombudsman of a pro-government newspaper in Turkey said. In recent years, prominent organizations dedicated to protecting journalists have detected a deterioration of press freedom in Turkey. Read Here.

Chicago Tribune. According to the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), at least 72 journalists have either been fired, forced to take leave, or resigned in the past six weeks. Read Here.

Venezuelan Editor Calls Government’s Bank Account Freezing an Attempt to Muzzle Criticism

The Washington Post. After his bank accounts were frozen via a Twitter request, the editor of one of Venezuela’s last two nationally circulating newspapers accused the government of trying to intimidate and silence the press. Read Here.

La Vida Doble: A Novel by Arturo Fontaine

The Guardian. La Vida Doble, a novel written by Arturo Fontaine, the founding member of Chile’s Museum of Memory and Human Rights, has been translated into English. The work has been called “a portrait of life under Pinochet with all its everyday terrors” and centers on Irene, a guerilla-turned-torturer for the regime. Read Here.

US Gag Laws are Violating Press Freedom—They Should Not Be Expanded Overseas

The Guardian. Miranda Gibson writes against the expansion of US “legislation that is distorting the very nature of free speech in order to satisfy big industry interests.” Read Here.

Ukraine: Storm Over Artist’s Depiction of Artists in Hell

BBC. An artist in Ukraine has sparked a censorship debate after his painting depicting priests, judges, MPs and policemen boiling in a huge cauldron was covered in black paint. Read Here.

Pinter Would be Chuffed that Tom Stoppard Won the 2013 PEN Prize

The Guardian. The playwright and human rights activist Tom Stoppard has been awarded the 2013 PEN Pinter prize for his work’s “unflinching, unswerving” gaze upon injustice in the world. Read Here.

Film Set During Malayan Emergency Sent Back to Censorship Board

The Hollywood Reporter. The New Village, a film set during the Malayan Emergency, was “indefinitely delayed,” as the conservative media reacted to the film’s representation of Malaysia’s history during British occupation. Read Here.

Despite Attempts at Censorship, Free Speech Echoes Through NY Subway Tunnel in Upcoming Art Exhibit

The Guardian. Using light to illustrate recordings of anything the visiting public wants to say in an abandoned New York subway tunnel, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Voice Tunnel” will be open to the public August 3-17. Read Here.

The Park Avenue Tunnel running from 33rd Street to 40th Street will be accessible to pedestrians for the first time from the 33rd Street entrance on August 3, 10 and 17 for “Voice Tunnel.” Video: NYC DOT via YouTube.

Which Keywords are Flagged in China?

Econsultancy. As research focuses on the growing nuances of China’s firewall, published results point to several, consistent taboos. Besides its censorship and surveillance ranging from the oddly specific (local instructions for certain protests) to the broadly expected (Tiananmen Square), China seems to be manipulating the relationships between state-owned media and third party companies, ensuring a growing trend of implicit self-censorship. Read Here.

Cameron Looks to China to Supply Europe’s First Internet Censorship Wall in Britain

21st Century Wire. Chinese firm will play large role in the UK’s plans to filter the internet. Read Here.

UK’s Pornographic Filter Raises More Problems Than it Solves

RT. Following initial fears of generalized, unmonitored censorship, new reports claim the UK’s proposed filter might do more than filter pornographic material. Read Here.

Hamas Shut Down Media Bureaus in Gaza

Index. After coverage on the conflict in Egypt and Israeli-credited reports of Muslim Brotherhood officials entering the Gaza, Hamas shut down local media outlets. Read Here.

Ban on South African Film Lifted, but Tension Remains

France 24. After organizers of the Durban film festival appealed the ban of Of Good Report, a film involving relationship between a teacher and his sixteen-year-old student, the film re-enters the festival on the last day of screening, despite continued protests. Read Here.

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