Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  October 6, 2012  / 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.

Charles Bukowski 2

Charles Bukowski: 'Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness.' Photo: YouTube.

Literary Greats on Censorship

Brain Pickings. In honor of banned books week (which was last week) thoughts on censorship from authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, Harper Lee, Anaïs Nin, E.B. White, and Charles Bukowski, among others. Read here.

Dissident Blogger Yoani Sanchez has Been Arrested

BBC. Sanchez was detained on her way to the trial of Spaniard Angel Carromero who faces manslaughter charges over the July death of oppositionist Oswaldo Paya. Sanchez’s twitter account has been inactive since Thursday and her phone appears to have been cut off. Read Here

Philippines: Anti-Cybercrime Law Sparks Online Protests, Petitions Delayed

Global Voices. Filipino netizens are stepping up protest actions online for the repeal of a cybercrime law that has been dubbed as “E-Martial Law” because some worry that the law can be used to limit freedom of speech on the Internet. Read here.

Afghan Media Claim Small Victory in Fight for Press Freedom

The Express Tribune. After a proposed revision to an existing media law raised concerns about media’s having to “observe the principles of Islam,” the Ministry of Information and Culture agreed to five of journalists’ 19 charges against the revision. Read here.

Malaysian Court says Publishing a Newspaper is a Right

New York Times. A Malaysian court ruled on Tuesday that the fundamental liberty of freedom of expression includes the “right to publish” after the government rejected an application for a print publishing license by Malaysiakini, a popular independent news Web site. Read here.

Video: Poet, Scholar, Nikki Giovanni on the Va. Tech Massacre


Nikki Giovanni speaks with Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman about her memories of the Virginia Tech shooting, gun control, and having Seung-Hui Cho in her class. In August Giovanni came to Pittsburgh to read with the poetry organization Cave Canem.

Stanford University Revisits 1937 “Degenerate Art”, Censorship

SF Gate. “A War on Modern Art: The 75th Anniversary of the Degenerate Art Exhibition” at the Cantor Arts Center revisits censorship in fine art during Nazi control of Germany with work by Wassily Kandinsky, Max Beckman, and Otto Dix. Read here.

Portraits of Burmese Dissidents and Activists: Slideshow

Time. In the photos these dissidents and democracy activists lifts their hands in the Buddhist gesture of the ‘abhaya mudra,’ a sign representing protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear. Inscribed on their raised hands are the names of allies who were still in detention at the time the photo was taken. See here.

UN Passes Resolution in Favor of Journalist Safety

IFEX. On September 27 The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council affirmed for the first time the importance of journalist safety as a fundamental element of freedom of expression. Read here.

Cambodian Radio Broadcaster Sentenced to 20 Years

AP, Global Post. A Cambodian court on Monday sentenced a dissident radio station owner to 20 years in prison on insurrection charges that critics claim are part of a political vendetta by the government. Read here, and here.

Readers Have a Stake in Obama’s Free Speech Disconnect

New York Times. With all the praise Mr. Obama received for his protection of free speech at the UN, it’s worth acknowledging that he has also authorized an unprecedented crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers here in the United States. 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.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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