Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  June 1, 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.

Beygairat Brigade

Pakistani band Beygairat Brigade's new song 'Dhinak Dhinak,' flaunting lines like 'They coup the throne with such ease/Like it's their birthright to cease,' has disappeared from video-sharing sites there. Photo via Facebook.

Pakistan: A Song Censored, and the Roots of Impunity

The New York Times. Beygairat Brigade, a Pakistani band with a reputation for satirizing the country’s military, recently released a song that has been mysteriously blocked from a popular video-sharing web site. Read here.

CPJ. Follow the unsolved murder of a young Pakistani TV correspondent into an explanation of Pakistan’s political history, the country’s relationship with free speech, and its patterns of impunity, which make journalists the target of violence. Read here.

US Government Accused of Attacking Journalistic Liberty: A Rundown

Sampsonia Way. The US government has been accused of attacking freedom of the press in two recent cases involving the Dept. of Justice’s surveillance of AP reporters and a FOX reporter’s phone records. SW presents a chronological rundown of the events. Read here.

China Faces (and Fights) Censorship

The New Yorker. At a gala celebration to receive the “Director of the Year” award from the China Film Directors Guild, the Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang stopped, cleared his throat, and said: “For the last twenty years, every director in China has faced a kind of tremendous torment, and that torment is censorship.” Read more.

The Wall Street Journal. In China, a shift in censorship tactics made sensitive information about the Tiananmen Square Massacre open to users of the microblog Weibo Friday. Read here.

The New York Times. Chinese blogger Zhang Shihe bicycles around North Central China documenting the stories of struggling rural villagers whose voices are rarely heard in China’s state-monitored media. Read here.

Anxiety for Jailed Tibetan Filmmaker as Release Nears

CPJ. Dhondup Wangchen is a self-taught, imprisoned Tibetan documentarian who made the film Leaving Fear Behind, which portrays life in Tibet. He has been incarcerated since his film was smuggled out of the country in 2008. Wangchen is scheduled to be released from a labor camp in 2014, but is currently experiencing health problems and his life is at risk. Read here.

Complete version of ‘Leaving Fear Behind’ by Dhondup Wangchen. Video: Blip.tv

Journalist who Fled Mexico Speaks Out

Reporters Without Borders. A video interview in which Verónica Basurto Gamero, a young independent journalist who used to be based in Mexico City, explains why she had to flee abroad at the start of March. Read more.

Vietnamese Blogger, Truong Duy Nhat, Arrested For Anti-State Views and Dissent

The Global Dispatch. The former journalist has been detained and faces up to seven years in jail as part of a widening crackdown on dissent. He has been accused of “abusing democratic freedoms.” Read here.

Singapore to Require News Websites to be Licensed; Seen [by] Some as a Bid to Control the Internet

The Washington Post. Stringent website-control regulations slated to go into effect Saturday place conditions on website licenses. Read here.

Iran: Presidential Candidates Accuse State TV of Censorship, Filmmaker Speaks About Censorship

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. As Iran draws closer to its presidential election this fall, two of the opposition candidates, Hassan Rohani and Mohsen Rezai, are claiming that the state-sponsored media has been censoring and altering their political campaigns. Read here.

Hollywood Reporter. In 2012 Asghar Farhadi was the first Iranian to win the best foreign-language honor at the Academy Awards for his film A Separation. In this interview he speaks about his new project, shooting in France, and film censorship in Iran. Read here.

Sex, Drugs, and Dissent: The Return of a ‘Classic Technology’

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Journalists in Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been repeatedly detained on false drug possession, profanity, and pornography charges—which are easy to fake and difficult to refute. 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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