Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  October 19, 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.

Ai Weiwei

The Chinese government is holding artist Ai Weiwei's passport, preventing him from appearing at the Hirshhorn Museum for an upcoming showcase of his work. Photo: Wu Fake, Creative Commons

Reddit Wants Free Speech – As Long as it Agrees With the Speaker

The Guardian. Gawker writer Adrian Chen published an article about a Reddit user who published “creepshot” pictures of unwitting women and underage girls. Reddit’s volunteer moderators removed links to the article and Gawker. Read here.

China Holds Ai Weiwei’s Passport and Censors Tweets about Nobel Prize Winner Mo Yan

The Daily Beast. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei won’t be able to travel to Washington for the October 7 opening of his work at the Hirshhorn Museum. Read more.

Global Post. Days after novelist Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature, China’s central censorship organ issued a directive to media companies to strictly police online discussion on Chinese-born Nobel winners. Read more.

Taliban Threat Worries Pakistan Media

BBC. A Pakistani Taliban leader gave his subordinate “special directions” to attack the media in many cities including Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and the capital Islamabad. Read more.

Film Adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is Released

Al Jazeera English. The film version of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children premiered in the 56th London Film Festival on Monday.


Rushdie: “Freedom of expression is the bedrock freedom on which all the other freedoms depend.”

Mexico: Web Director Murdered in Baja California

PEN International. Tijuana Informativo director Ramón Abel López Aguilar was kidnapped in Tijuana, Baja California on October 14, 2012 and shot in the head. Nine print journalists have been murdered in Mexico since January, 2012. Read more.

Last Week to Take Part in PEN International’s Write Against Impunity Campaign

PEN International. PEN invites Latin American writers to write poetry and prose protesting the killings of writers in Latin America. Deadline: October 29, 2012. Read more.

Jimmy Wales Talks Online Protest, Censorship, and the Flow of Information

Memeburn. In a recent interview Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales spoke about how the internet has impacted on the world’s protest movements and the measures some governments take to to curb the free flow of information online. Read more.

Iran: Human Rights Abuses, a Journalist gets Two Years in Prison

Reuters. Human rights activists in Iran are subjected to beatings with batons, mock hangings, rape, sleep deprivation, and threats, a U.N. rights investigator said in a report released on Thursday the 11th. Read here.

Human Rights Watch. Journalist Karzam Karim has been sentenced to two years in prison after the Kurdistan Post published several articles in which Karim accused security agency authorities of corruption. Read here

“Freedom of Speech, Battle Ground”: Danny Schechter, Editor of mediachannel.org

PressTV. Eutelsat SA has recently stopped broadcasting several Iranian satellite channels on the order of the European Commission. The move has been seen by many as a violation of press freedom. Read more.

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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