Freedom of Speech Roundup

by    /  July 21, 2012  / No comments

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

Freedom Theatre in Jenin

Although the Freedom Theatre's performances have been well attended in Jenin, the theatre has experienced harassment from Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Photo: Courtesy of the Freedom Theatre

In this week’s Freedom of Speech Roundup the Artistic Director of The Jenin Freedom Theater is released from prison but placed on house arrest; co-founder Zakaria Zubeid remains in prison in Jericho. Activists in Sudan are utilizing social media to counter governmental media censorship. In Russia punk band Pussy Riot go on a hunger strike after being charged with hooliganism for singing an anti-Vladimir Putin song.

Promising news comes from Moscow as a former police officer is brought to justice for the killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovaskaya. And, internationally, attention is growing around the case of imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega.

We’ve also included a summer reading list of books banned and challenged for their homosexual content. Follow the links below for these and other relevant stories from July 11 to July 18, 2012.

The Bravest Theater in the World

Counterpunch. Six days after declaring a hunger strike Nabil al-Raee, artistic director for the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, was released from prison on bail, but remains under house arrest. Counterpunch profiles the Israeli army’s harassment of the theatre. Read Here

China in Ten Words by Yu Hua: Book Review

The Telegraph. Best-selling Chinese novelist Yu Hua writes a “grass roots” analyzation of his country using ten words for his subjects (e.g. revolution, writing, people, bamboozle). Part essay, part non-fiction, it will not be published in China. Read Here

Russia: Imprisoned Band, Internet Blacklist, and Criminal Libel Law, Blows to Free Expression

The Telegraph. Charged with hooliganism after singing an anti-Putin song in a Russian church, three members of the band Pussy Riot have gone on hunger strike after what one said was an “unlawful” court ruling. (Slideshow) Read Here

Guardian. The Russian parliament has passed a bill increasing government control of the internet. The bill must now be signed by Vladamir Putin before it becomes a law. Read Here

Trust Law. Russia’s parliament has adopted a new law criminalizing certain types of libel against judges, jurors, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials, punishable by a fine of up to 2 million rubles ($61,000). Read Here

Censors Catch Up with China’s ‘Micro Film’

Korea Herald. Internet-based films have been an opportunity for China’s filmmakers to reach more people, spark debate, and evade the film censorship board. Now the government is paying attention. Read Here

Video: The WSJ’s Paul Mozur tells Isabella Steger how China’s citizens and academics are using software to keep track of what is censored by the government, and why.

In the Face of Censorship, #SudanRevolts goes Social

PBS. While Sudanese state media does not report on the current protests, and independent media is censored in print and blocked on the internet, protesters are turning to social media to organize support, and disseminate information. Read Here

What to Read Now: Migration Narratives

World Literature Today. Whether seeking upward mobility and adventure, or escaping war, the characters in these migration narratives unsettle myths and demonstrate geography’s impact on identity. Read Here

Anna Politkovaskaya killing: Former Moscow policeman charged

Guardian. Six years after the murder of an investigative journalist, investigators have connected former Moscow policeman Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov with the crime and presented him with charges. Read Here

Free Eskinder Nega!

The New York Review of Books. “We call on President Obama and all world leaders to condemn Eskinder’s imprisonment, and to join… in denouncing the use of terrorism charges to jail journalists and others exercising their right to free speech.” Read Here

American Imprisoned in Thailand for Translating Banned Book gets Royal Pardon

The Republic. After being detained for over a year, a Thai-born American has been pardoned of lese majeste charges that landed him in prison after he translated a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Read Here

Challenged Literature, A List of Controversial Books: Slideshow

Huffington Post. Books censored, confiscated, banned, criticized, deemed obscene, and sometimes honored for its gay and lesbian content. Read Here

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