Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  September 28, 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.

Pablo Neruda

Neruda (right) with President Allende Photo: Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile

Forty Years After Death of Pablo Neruda, Chile Still Waits for Answers

The Santiago Times. The investigation of the possible murder of the Nobel Prize winning poet continues on the anniversary of his suspicious death September 23, 1973, just days after his friend President Salvador Allende died in Pinochet’s coup d’etat. Read Here.

Iranian Censorship as Art: Portraits of Absence by Phillip Toledano

Time. In the hands of Phillip Toledano, Iranian censors’ heavy marker strokes become art at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam. Read Here.

Morocco Journalist Charged with Inciting ‘Terrorism’

GlobalPost. Ali Anouzla, director of independent news website Lakome, was arrested on September 17 after posting a link to an Al-Qaeda video threatening Morocco. He is now being charged with defending, assisting and inciting terrorist acts. Read Here.

PEN International Passes Resolution on Tibet

Phayul. The 79th PEN International Congress has unanimously passed a resolution on Tibet. The resolution includes an appeal to unconditionally release all imprisoned Tibetan singers, writers and artists, and relax restrictions on Tibetan writers. Read Here.

Banned Books Week: In Asia, Freedom of Speech is Not as Simple as It Seems

The Guardian. Malaysian writer Tash Aw recounts growing up in a country “where censorship was a way of life.” He also discusses the birth of modern self-censorship in its wake. Read Here.

Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Why I Have Gone on Hunger Strike

The Guardian. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Russia’s
female punk band, Pussy Riot, details the conditions of Penal Colony No 14,
where she is being imprisoned for hooliganism. Beginning Monday,
Tolokonnikova started a hunger strike to protest the slave-like labor
conditions of her sentence. Read Here.


Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova declared a hunger strike on Monday in protest of treatment at Penal Colony No. 14, where she is imprisoned. After announcing the hunger strike Tolokonnikova was moved to solitary confinement. Video: Euronews via YouTube.

China May Lift Ban on Facebook, Twitter in Shanghai Free-Trade Zone

Los Angeles Times. A proposed “Free-Trade Zone” covering 20 miles of Shanghai would allow access to several websites in a rare exception to the government’s strict control of the Internet. Read Here.

Venezuelans Lose Ability to Take Freedom of Expression Cases Before OAS’ Inter-American Court

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The Venezuelan government’s withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights is deemed by journalists to be politically problematic and a backward step in protecting human rights. Read Here.

Spanish Reporter Missing, Kidnapped Three Weeks Ago Near Hama

Reporters Without Borders. El Periodico, revealed on Tuesday that reporter Mark Marginedas was kidnapped by Jihadi fighters in Hama on September 4. Since his abduction, no news has emerged and no group has claimed responsibility for the incident. Read Here.

Journalists Attacked by Masked Assailants in Cambodia

Committee to Protect Journalists. At least seven journalists were attacked in Cambodia on Sunday in the capital Phnom Penh while covering a land rights protest. Attackers wearing surgical masks and carrying a variety of weapons attacked press from The Cambodia Daily, The Phnom Penh Post, and Voice of America. Read Here.

Uzbek Journalist Jailed on Hooliganism Charages

Committee to Protect Journalists. Uzbek freelance journalist Sergei Naumov was arrested, tried, and jailed within a day. There is suspicion that the charges are directly related to his reports about Uzbekistan’s situation regarding human rights. Read Here.

Azeri Authorities Raid Newspaper, Arrest Opposition Journalist Ahead of Elections

IFEX. Editor and human rights journalist, Parviz Hashimli, was arrested and had
his home raided by Ministry of National Security officials. Hashimli is
charged with possession of illegal firearms among suspicion his arrest is
to set the tone for elections October 9. Read Here.

A Novel Way to Curb Free Speech

The Hindu. After allegedly insulting Hindu sentiment, Yogesh Master was arrested for his novel Dhundi which was pulled from circulation within 10 days of its release. 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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