Stories about Freedom of Speech from March, 2008
Slovakia: Newspapers Protest Imposition of Interactivity
Information Policy links to a story in the International Herald Tribune on the protest of Slovak newspapers against the new requirement “to print responses by people or institutions to any news article even if the published information were true.”
Romania, Hungary, Austria: Marshal Antonescu; “Political Irrelevance”
At A Fistful of Euros, Douglas Muir writes about Marshal Antonescu of Romania, and Alex Harrowell writes about an “outbreak of arseholes in Central Europe.”
China: Open Media Market
In response to the anti-CNN campaign, Huge argued that the solution was to open the media market and protect press freedom [zh].
Japan: Views on Yasukuni, the movie
A documentary film about the controversial Yasukuni shrine, shot by a Chinese filmmaker through funding by a Japanese government agency, has sparked debate and discussion after a group within the ruling LDP party convened a screening to assess its "neutrality". Bloggers offer differing views on the move and on the idea of their government subsidizing what some see as a "political" film.
China: Zeng Jinyan
Zeng Jinyan is back to internet communication [zh] after three months house arrest. As for Hu Jia, he will be on trial again in April 7.
Lebanon: On censorship
Beirut Spring posts about “good censorship” versus “bad censorship” and on the difference between censoring the Da Vinci Code and censoring Persepolis in Lebanon.
Lebanon: Un-Banning “Persepolis”
“French Minister welcomed the news that Lebanon decided to reverse the ban on “Persepolis,” the award-winning animated film …” reports Bilad Ash Sham.
Lebanon: Banning “Persepolis”
“Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’ [the movie] is the latest victim of our very “intellectual” General Security Censorship Department,” writes Bachir Habib
Brazil: Blogs banned from the 2008 elections
Brazil is warming up for local elections later this year, but the Supreme Electoral Court has just passed regulations that have raised eye-brows throughout the blogosphere: only candidates' purpose-built web pages will be allowed. Blogs and 'social web' facilities have not been subjected to a more comprehensive legislation and as a result these are now left in limbo. Will the netizen be silenced?
Belarus: Freedom Day Protest
On Tuesday, March 25, police broke up an opposition rally in the capital of Belarus, beating protesters with truncheons and detaining dozens of people. Veronica Khokhlova translates two bloggers' first-hand accounts and a foreign political analyst's view on the Belarusian opposition's strategy.
Bahrain: Blogger in Jail for Four Months
Bahraini blogger and human rights activist Abdulla Mohsen (Ar) has been behind bars for more than four months, according to Nido, who calls upon bloggers and online activists to show support for his jailed comrade, who is still awaiting trial.
Qatar: Some Facebook Applications Banned
Ngourlay announces that Qatar Telecoms has blocked some of Facebook's applications. The blogger also lists five reasons the telecom provider censors sites: pornography, political criticism of Gulf countries and anti-Islamic sites; some sites are also blocked ‘by mistake’ and others are banned because they may be offensive to some people.
Belarus: Emanuel Zeltser's Detention
Eternal Remont links to a new blog whose aim is to draw attention to Emanuel Zeltser's case: FREE Emanuel Zeltser and Vladlena Funk – Illegally Imprisoned in Belarus Since March 12, 2008.
Russia, U.S.: A Foreign Policy View
Valery Dzutsev offers a view on why “there is so much tension between the US and Russia.”
China: Responses to the Dalai Lama's appeal
As Lhasa has supposedly quieted down, the anti-CNN.com crowd has gone off the deep end, that might be worth exploring more. The death threats they've been making towards Western media representatives stationed in China certainly haven't gone unnoticed. On Mutant Palm blogger Davesgonechina's list of links chosen in a move...
Morocco: Journalist Fined $857,000 for Slander
“Rachid Nini, a popular Moroccan columnist and director of the daily Arabophone newspaper Almassae, was fined by a court in Rabat about $857000 for alleged defamation and slander of 4 prosecutors in the northern town of Ksar Kbir, said Almassae newspaper. The amount of the fine is exorbitant and unprecedented...
Slide blocked in Turkey
A Turkish court banned access to Slide, the maker of social networking widgets, for “harboring pictures and articles that are considered to be insulting to Ataturk”.
Egypt: Flood Jail with Mail Campaign Picks Momentum
Calls continue in support of a two week campaign to flood an Egyptian jail with mail in solidarity with jailed Egyptian blogger Kareem Nabeel Sulaiman, writes Free Kareem.
Cuba, Venezuela: Safety of Journalists
Both Uncommon Sense and Child of the Revolution share their opinions on the President of the Cuban Union of Journalists telling a conference “of left-wing ‘media workers’ in Caracas that there is ‘absolute respect’ for the personal safety of journalists under the Castro regime.”
Blogger's opinion about “Nsima” angers Malawians
A recent post on Malawi's staple food nsima has raised debate on how much freedom one can have in expressing themselves in blogs. The reactions by mostly Malawian readers have demonstrated that some restraint, responsibility and sensitivity is needed especially if one is writing about something that others may consider very dear to them.
Russia: Dmitry Medvedev
Streetwise Professor writes about “the contrast between [Dmitry] Medvedev’s words and the ongoing acts of the government that he will soon head.”