Freedom of Speech Roundup

by Sampsonia Way    /  October 5, 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.

Monument to the Korean Workers Party, Pyongyang

Pyongyang, where Tim Sullivan and photographer David Guttenfelder documented North Korea's tightly controlled society. Photo by Mark Scott Johnson via Flickr.

North Korea: Now You See It

National Geographic. Asian correspondent for the Associated Press, Tim Sullivan discusses his experiences as a journalist in North Korea. When visiting a Buddhist monastery, he avoided questions regarding freedom of religion, until the monks themselves brought it up. Read More.

A Window on Weird: Step Inside the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam

The Guardian. A former gas works house now contains a number of pieces of artwork from new and old artists including Lin Zhipeng whose artwork is constantly censored by the Chinese government. Along with a number of self-published authors, this warehouse contains books, photographs, and paintings of the whimsical and erotic. Read More.

Muzzle for Egypt’s Media

DW. Prize-winning Egyptian journalist, Ahmed Abu Deraa, is being tried in a military court for criticizing his country’s armed forces. The case highlights the threat to the media and press freedom in Egypt. Read More.

Author and NSA Critic Denied Entry into US

DW.. German-Bulgarian writer Ilija Trojanov, who has previously criticized the U.S.’s NSA spying program, was barred from boarding a plane to the United States on September 30. Trojanov had previously been granted a visa for his trip to Colorado, where he was scheduled to speak at a conference. Read More.

Free Trade and Free Speech in Shanghai

The New Yorker. On Sunday an eleven-square-mile free-trade zone in Shanghai will be inaugurated, opening the door for increased foreign investment. It may also lift the ban on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and the Times. Read More.

How Internet Censorship Actually Works in China

The Atlantic. A pair of studies on China’s censorship system has concluded that it is “the most extensive effort to selectively censor human expression ever implemented.” When it comes to censorship, small criticisms are secondary to writing that might incite collective action. Read More.

Cuba Rejects UN Recommendations on Freedom of Expression

Journalism in the Americas. The Cuban government rejects recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council on the freedom of journalists, human rights defenders, and others in opposition to the government. Read More.

China Frees Tibetan Writer Upon Completing Jail Term; Interview with Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, the first Tibetan Poetess in English

Tibetan Review. Tibetan writer and editor Joleb Dawa returns home after completing a three-year jail sentence in China for producing alleged separatist writings. Read More.

Times of India. Tsering Dhompa’s full-length book of poetry, A Home in Tibet, makes her the first Tibetan poetess to be published in English. In this interview she discusses her book and life in exile. Read More.

Mexico’s Journalists Attacked and Censored, Says Editor to Zuma

Mail & Guardian. After a visit to Mexico, South African President Jacob Zuma held Mexico’s media up as a ‘gold standard’ for patriotic journalism. Mexico’s media outlets are deterred from reporting on crime and violence through kidnapping, death threats, and murder. Read More.

New Report: Internet Freedom Deteriorates Worldwide, but Activists Push Back

Freedom House. According to a study released October 3 by Freedom House, global internet freedom is on a steady decline while activism grows in numbers and efficacy. The United States in particular experienced an overall decline in internet freedom by 5 points, placing it in the significant negative trajectory category. Read More.

Sudan Censors Target Columnists

Index. Three Sudanese columnists were prevented from writing by the National intelligence Security Services (NISS) after they condemned the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Journalists Salah Awooda, Zuhair Elsrag and Rishan Oshi were banned from writing for between five to fifteen days during August after criticizing the Islamist group. Read More.

Gunmen Kill Colombian Vendor Who Collaborated on Story

Committee to Protect Journalists. Newspaper vendor, José Darío Arenas, was shot for providing information exposing misbehavior of guards in prisons. The shooter is unknown, but others who helped collaborate with the same story have received death threats. Police couldn’t speculate on possible motive except to reference an ongoing investigation. Read More.

Group Supports Bedoun, Freedom Of Expression

Arab Times. Kuwaiti activists support the withdrawal of charges against bloggers and journalists. Read More.

Snowden Is A Finalist For European Human Rights Award

NPR. Edward Snowden, the ex-NSA worker who leaked information on U.S. government surveillance activity has been named as a finalist for the European Sakharov Prize, awarded to those who fight for human rights. Among his co-nominees are Malala Yousafzai and three political prisoners. 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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