Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  October 27, 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.

Mario Savio

Mario Savio, the 'face' of the Free Speech Movement, at a victory rally in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza on Dec. 9, 1964. Photo: Sam Churchill. This year the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that, of 392 colleges, 65 percent had policies that violated the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to free speech.

Feigning Free Speech on Campus

New York Times. “For reasons both good and bad — and sometimes for mere administrative convenience — colleges have promulgated speech codes that are not only absurd in their results but also detrimental to the ideals of free inquiry.” Read Here

China: Film Censored; Ai Weiwei Video and New York Times Article Blocked

LA Times. Director Lou Ye has angered Chinese authorities with films containing sensitive subjects like sex and politics for the last 20 years. His newest film, Mystery, was initially approved by the censorship board, but has recently come under scrutiny. Read Here

New York Times. On Friday the Chinese government blocked access to the Times’ English- and Chinese-language sites in response to an article in both languages describing wealth accumulated by the family of the country’s prime minister. Read Here

NPR. Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei is pushing authorities’ buttons again, this time with a “Gangnam Style” video spoof that was quickly blocked from Chinese websites. Read Here

Turkey’s Press Freedom Crisis

CPJ. “The Turkish authorities are waging one of the world’s biggest anti-press campaigns in recent history. Dozens of writers and editors are in prison, nearly all on terrorism or other anti-state charges.” Read the Report Here

Internet Anti-Censorship Tools Overwhelmed by Demand

Washington Post. Over 1 million people use anti-tracking and anti-censorship software every day. Unfortunately, human rights groups say, the demand for the software has overwhelmed capacity, making the tools slow or inaccessible. Read Here

Somalia: Radio Journalist Badly Injured in Targeted Shooting

allAfrica.com. On Sunday night, Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, a journalist for Radio Shabelle was shot four times by two gunmen. He is still alive. Since 2007 eight Radio Shabelle employees have been killed. Read Here

Burma: Exiles Can Return—If They Promise to be Good

The Independent. Burmese exiles looking to return home have been required to sign written undertakings that they will avoid criticizing the government or publishing anything that could “harm the state.” Read Here

Interview: Iranian Musician Responds to Death Threats

Arts Freedom. This interview with Iranian singer and rapper Shahin Najafi took place five months after a fatwa was issued against him. It proclaimed him an apostate for recording the song “Ay Naghi” and sentenced him to death under Islamic law. Najafi is currently in exile in Germany. Read the Interview Here

Beyond the Circle of Hell: Junot Diaz’s New Short Story Collection

New York Review of Books. Francine Prose on Junot Diaz’s new collection of short stories This is How You Lose Her and the politics of his bi-lingual writing. Read Here

Free to Fight Hate Speech

The Hoya. “The First Amendment guarantees not simply a right, but also a responsibility, to speak out and take responsibility for the consequences of our speech.” 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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