Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  April 27, 2013  / 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.

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang on April 12 accepting his award for Best Director at the China Film Directors Guild. Photo: BeijingCream via Youtube.

China’s Spielberg Calls out Censors during Award Ceremony

Tea Leaf Nation. When he accepted the award for Director of the Year from the China Film Director’s Guild, Feng Xiaogang called censorship “a torment.” His comment was censored on-air. The attendees cheered him on. Read here.

Russia After Boston: A Free Pass on Human Rights?

New York Review of Books. With Moscow and Washington closely cooperating after the Boston bombing, Amy Knight wonders whether the Putin regime will see the current relationship as a license for abusing free speech and human rights. Read here.

13 Journalists Attacked in Cairo, Alexandria Clashes

CPJ. At least 13 journalists were attacked amid clashes between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition last Friday. A state news reporter believed attacks by the Muslim Brothers were systematic and preplanned, as the perpetrators targeted people with cameras and shouted anti-media slogans while beating them. Read here.

$1,000,000: Kuwait’s Insulting Fine

Free Arabs. In the past year, 35 twitter users, political commentators, activists, and outspoken civilians have been charged with insulting Kuwait’s emir and his family and inciting protest. A proposed law now threatens a massive fine for insulting the emir. Read here.

The Art Of Bravery: An Interview With Salman Rushdie

Los Angeles Review of Books. In an interview with Shaun Randol, author Salman Rushdie speaks about the upcoming PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York City from April 29 through May 5. The theme of this year’s event is bravery in the face of censorship. Read here.

Brazilian Officer Confirms Police Involvement in the Killing of Two Journalists in Vale Do Aco

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Two police officers were recently put on leave in Brazil for alleged involvement in the death of journalist Rodrigo Neto De Faria, a 38-year-old reporter who was investigating crimes committed by police death squads in the region of Vale Do Aco. A photojournalist associated with Faria’s article was also shot. After the killings, many other local newspapers showed signs of self-censorship, fearful of retribution from the authorities. Read here.

Venezuelan President Orders Arrest of American Filmmaker

The Washington Post. American filmmaker Timothy Tracy has been arrested through orders from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Tracy was making a film about the country’s political divide and the corruption concerning the April 14 election of Maduro. The President believes Tracy led violent protests after the election results were revealed. Read here.

Slideshow: Is Bangladesh Spiraling Out Of Control?

CPJ. The conflict between Islamists and secularists in Bangladesh has reached a breaking point for press freedom. In the last few months, many media outlets have been targeted with violence, censorship, and arrests. View here.

Mexico’s Press Freedom Group Article 19 Under Threat

Huffington Post. Dario Ramirez, the head of Mexico’s primary press freedom group Article 19, says the group received a threatening letter that personally targeted not only the employees but Ramirez himself. He has filed a complaint with authorities, but Mexico has built a reputation as one of the most dangerous countries for reporters. Read here.

Reading Between The Lines: Jailing of Turkish Blogger Wasn’t About Religion

Haaretz. Turkish pianist Fazil Say was recently condemned for comments on Twitter that allegedly insulted Islam, but there may be more at stake. Freedom of expression is a constant problem in Turkey, but arrests of those who speak their mind may, historically, hearken back to the government’s desire for control. 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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