Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  July 20, 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.

Protestors calling for the release of political prisoners in Burma. Photo: totaloutnow via Flickr.

Myanmar Admits to Political Prisoners, Pledging Their Freedom

The New York Times. “I guarantee to you that by the end of this year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.” –U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar
Read Here.

Egypt’s Media Embrace Military After Morsi Ouster

Las Vegas Sun. The sharply partisan Egyptian media outlets-critical of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood- rally behind the military in the wake of the ex-president’s overthrow. Read Here.

Incoming West Kowloon Museum Curator Vows to be ‘Politically Incorrect’

South China Morning Post. “A museum should be a place where a variety of ideas can be provoked and discussed, even ideas that are perceived as dangerous.” –Doryun Chong, incoming curator of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District’s visual culture museum
Read Here.

China: Censoring News Before it Happens, Some Film Censorship Rules Cut Back

The New York Review of Books. Professor Xiao Qiang has revealed that Chinese censors expend a lot of effort on “guiding” expression. They send Web editors many specific instructions: “Place [an article] prominently on the home page” or “close comment boxes” or “mention without hyping” are just some examples. Read Here.

Reuters. While screenplays no longer need to be submitted before beginning production, completed movies will still be subject to government control. Read Here.

Iranian film-maker Mania Akbari: ‘Cinema threatens the government.’

The Guardian. Akbari fled Tehran last year because her films touch on breast cancer and other taboo social issues that cannot be freely expressed in Iran. Now that she is in exile in London, her films are being screened to audiences. Read Here.


Trailer for From Tehran to London by Mania Akbari. Video: Perssam1 via Youtube.

Burkina Faso State Media Journalists Protest Censorship

Committee to Protect Journalists. Reports of censorship continue as Burkina Faso’s government and 26-year incumbent president sidestep accusations. Read Here.

Somalia: Age Restrictions, Revealed Sources, and Violence against Journalists

The Africa Report. Somalia, a country with a long tradition of repressing journalists, further increases its media restrictions with a new law that forbids anyone under 40 from reporting. Read Here.

Reporters Without Borders. A new media law in Somalia would give power to the courts in forcing journalists to reveal their sources. Read Here.

The Guardian.Somali TV reporter who worked for London-based satellite channel, Kalsan TV, was shot and killed in Galkayo, the capital of Somalia’s north-central region of Mudug. Read Here.

Tunisia Profile

BBC News. Since the 2011 popular revolt, Tunisian media has enjoyed increased freedom, but officials have since blocked Facebook pages set up by cyber activists. Read Here.

Turkey Journalists Abused by Police

Press TV. Protests in Turkey prompted a police raid on the Etkin News Agency that lasted twelve hours. Two female journalists were even strip-searched during the process. 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.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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