Freedom of Speech Roundup
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.
“I’m not afraid to live openly” An Open Letter from Tsering Woeser
Radio Free Asia. In this open letter to the Chinese government, dissident Tibetan blogger and essayist Tsering Woser writes about her recent detention and the hypocrisies of the CCP’s surveillance, security checkpoints, and “chats.” Read Here.
Numbers of Imprisoned and Murdered Journalists Hit Record High in 2012
The Committee to Protect Journalists. Due to the widespread use of terrorism charges and other anti-state offenses against reporters and editors, CPJ totaled 232 individuals behind bars on December 1, an increase of 53 over its 2011 tally. Read Here.
Additionally, CPJ found that the number of journalists killed in the line of duty rose by 42% in 2012. The war in Syria, a record number of shootings in Somalia, continued violence in Pakistan, and an increase in Brazilian murders contributed to the rise in deaths. Read Here.
India: Hunger Strike Against Naveen Soorinje’s Arrest; Justice for Rape Victims
Costal Digest. Dozens of media workers and reporters have banded together in a hunger strike to protest the incarceration of journalist Naveen Soorinje, who was arrested in November after exposing an assault on women by Hindu extremists. Indian journalists see the arrest as a clear message that journalists “will be punished for anti-establishment reporting.” Read Here.
NYTimes.com. A woman passed away last month as a result of injuries sustained from a violent attack and rape. Recently, a judge closed the trial to reporters, despite demands for transparency and reform of India’s sexual assault laws. Read Here.
Vietnam Court Sentences 14 Activists up to 13 Years Imprisonment
IBTimes UK. Vietnamese authorities have sentenced 14 pro-democracy activists and bloggers on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. Three of the defendants were jailed for 13 years each while the others received terms between three and eight years. Read Here.
Chinese Censorship Protest
The New York Times profiles the Southern Weekly journalist protest in China.
Deal Diffuses Standoff in Chinese Censorship Case
ABC News. After the Chinese government replaced a critical editorial from Southern Weekly with one speaking positively about the party, journalists from the publication protested the move, with citizens lending their support. This week the government agreed not to punish staff for protesting and certain censorship practices will be less stringent. Read Here.
New York Review of Books. Jonathan Mirsky compares the recent Southern Weekly censorship protests to the events that led up to Tiananmen Square in 1989. Read Here.
Writing from Haiti
Words Without Borders. 2013’s first issue of Words Without Borders focuses on writers from Haiti, a country with a constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech that has seen nine journalists killed since 1992. This issue features writing from Évelyne Trouillot, Kettly Mars, Lyonel Trouillot, Yanick Lahens, Guy-Gerald Ménard, and James Noël, among others. Read the Issue Here.
Despite Censorship, Mali’s Musicians Play On
NPR. Amkoullel is a rapper who combines traditional melodies with new techniques. His song “SOS”, which describes Mali’s situation, has been banned in the capital for fear of inciting a revolution. Read Here.