Freedom of Speech Roundup

by    /  May 4, 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.

Ma Jian

Ma Jian is the author of the novels 'Red Dust', 'Beijing Coma', and 'The Dark Road', among others. Photo: FrontLine HRD via YouTube.

Interview: Ma Jian

Index on Censorship. Novelist Ma Jian, a veteran of the Tiananmen Square protests, talks to Nigel Warburton about political and artistic freedom in China. Read here.

Salman Rushdie on Chinese Censorship

The Atlantic. An interview with the award-winning author about freedom of expression, the People’s Republic, and how literature can thrive under repressive governments. Read here.

Iran: Censorship Intensifying in Run-up to June Presidential Election

Thomson Reuters Foundation. With just six weeks to go to a presidential election, the intelligence ministry has been summoning netizens and media editors to give them instructions on what they may and may not cover. Read here.


PEN American Center. A recorded livestream press conference from May 3, 2013. Author Salman Rushdie, Chinese author Yu Jie, Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, and PEN International President John Ralston Saul launch a groundbreaking PEN report documenting the treacherous terrain for freedom of expression in China. Here. Note: The video starts at 28:30.

Video: PENamericancenter via YouTube.

Mexico: A Movement and a Bill Against Impunity

CPJ. Last Thursday the Mexican senate passed a bill that gives the federal government jurisdiction over crimes against journalists. A group comprised of Mexican academics and legal experts, representatives of press freedom groups, and human rights officials drafted the legislation. Today the measure awaits only the president’s approval. Read here.

Censorship and Power in Iran with Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari

The Iranian. For the first time on film, six victims of Iran’s torture chambers speak. According to the film, Forced Confession, these are not criminals, but writers, journalists, and scholars. The film will be screened in New York on May 8 at 7:30 and discussed by the Political Satirist, Jon Stewart and its director, Maziar Bahari. Read here.

World Press Freedom Day

Index on Censorship. Is the European Union faltering on media freedom? Read here.

Guatemala’s elPeriódico Harassed after Critical Reporting

CPJ. After publishing stories alleging corruption in President Otto Pérez Molina’s administration, José Rubén Zamora, publisher of elPeriódico, has claimed that the news outlet has been the target of six cyber-attacks in the last six months. Read here.

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