Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  May 12, 2012  / No comments

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

Melissa Chan from Al Jazeera

Melissa Chan, Al-Jazeera's sole English-language reporter in China, has been expelled from the country. Here police ask Chan to stop filming on one of her last reports.

This week brought good news as the Chinese government agreed to allow human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his family to leave the country. Less promising was the discovery of the bodies of three journalists in Mexico, the death of a Syrian citizen journalist, and an Al Jazeera reporter’s expulsion from China, effectively closing down the channel’s English-language branch in the country. Below are links to these stories from May 2 to May 9, 2012.

Three journalists slain in Mexico’s Veracruz

Aljazeera, Thursday May 3: Photojournalists found slain and dumped in plastic bags, less than a week after the killing of another journalist. Read here.

Chinese government agreed to allow Chen Guangcheng to leave the country

Aljazeera, Friday May 4: Chen Guangcheng offered fellowship by US university and will be accompanied by his family, state department says. Read here.

At least 18 journalists assaulted or arrested in Egypt

Comitee to Protect Journalists, Friday May 4: “Authorities cannot stand by while journalists are being beaten–at times so viciously that their lives are put at risk,”. Read here.

Ethiopian paper fined for coverage of Eskinder Nega trial

Comitee to Protect Journalists, Friday May 4: “When a journalist can be fined and subjected to a suspended prison term for publishing statements made by a defendant in court, it illustrates the decay of free expression and the rule of law,”. Read here.


At least seven journalists and photographers have been killed in the last 18 months in Veracruz, Mexico.

Sixth Citizen Journalist Killed by Syrian Government This Year

Reporters Without Borders, Friday May 4: “We strongly condemn this murder, which illustrates the extent to which the government of Bashar al-Assad is ignoring the provisions of the ceasefire plan of the former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan,” Read here.

Government Withdraws Permission for Visit by Freedom of Expression NGOS

Reporters Without Borders, Friday May 4: “The withdrawal of permission just a few days before World Press Freedom Day is indicative of the Bahraini government’s desire to maintain a news blackout on the continuing crackdown and its limitless hypocrisy towards the international community,”. Read here

Expelled from Cuba jails, journalists languish in Spain

Comitee to Protect Journalists, Monday May 7: Cuban authorities began releasing imprisoned journalists, sending them into forced exile with their families. Read here.

Al-Jazeera says China has expelled reporter

San Francisco Chronicle, Monday May 7: It’s the first time since 1998 that Beijing has kicked out an accredited foreign journalist. Read here

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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