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· May, 2009

Stories about Freedom of Speech from May, 2009

Indonesia: Jailed For Complaining

  31 May 2009

The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two, is currently the hot topic among Indonesian bloggers. Prita shared her experience of being maltreated by a private hospital on a mailing-list. The hospital took legal action against her. The online complaint may result into six years jail term and maximum fine of 1 billion Rupiah (nearly US$ 98,000).

Jamaica, Cuba: Amnesty International Report

  29 May 2009

Iriegal and Jamaica Salt comment on Amnesty International’s criticism of the Jamaican police force, while Havana Times notes that the organization”recognized…that the US blockade on Cuba has a negative effect on the general population.”

China: Police harassment

  29 May 2009

Joel Martinsen from DANWEI translated Ai Weiwei's blog posts on how he was harassed by security “rice streamers” (meaning stupid polices) and lawyer blogger Liu Xiaoyuan's article explaining Ai's rights. Ai Weiwei's blogs hosted on Sina and Sohu have been suspended.

China: Deng Yujiao Case Reporters Assaulted

  29 May 2009

ESWN translated local forum news reporting on the assault of Southern People Weekly magazine reporter Wei Yi when he tried to interview the maternal grandmother of Deng Yujiao – the nail beautician who stabbed to dead a local government official in defense of sexual assault.

Hong Kong: SC group censored June 4th special feature

  29 May 2009

Daisy, an editor from Esquire, a lifestyle magazine under South China media group in Hong Kong, disclosed in her blog that the top management banned the publication of 15 pages June 4th special feature in its latest issue. The top rank company staff, after looking at the layout, said the...

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Guadeloupe: In May 2009, keep May 1802 and May 1967 in mind

  28 May 2009

2009 will definitely be a "new" year in Guadeloupe - at least judging from a pun that people used as their New Year's wish, since in Creole "new" is pronounced "nef" and "nine" is also pronounced "nef". The first social movements in December 2008 foreshadowed the massive mobilization which took place from January until March 2009, which resulted in 45 days of an all-out strike on the island. Although an agreement was signed, the situation still has not been properly settled - and May, traditionally a month of protest in the French and Guadeloupean social history, is particularly hot this year.

China: 2009 Chinese Internet Research Conference

  28 May 2009

The 2009 Chinese Internet Research Conference started yesterday (May 27) at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Ethan and Lokman have written their first day notes on the presentations in the conference in their blogs at My heart's in Accra and Global voices, one world. You...

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Singapore: First LGBT Rally

  28 May 2009

More than 2,500 people in Singapore gathered at Hong Lim Park to form a human Pink Dot - a symbol of love and inclusiveness. It was Singapore’s first public rally in support for the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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Argentina: Clarín Media Group Forces Removal of Videos

  27 May 2009

The media group Clarín is considered to be the most important in Argentina and has implemented a policy of demanding that YouTube close the accounts of any user that does not remove content produced by one of its television companies. This policy has affected bloggers, who have used content on a non-profit basis and for the purpose of commenting on the political situation of the country. Many are arguing that these uses are protected by law, and that Clarín is infringing on freedom of speech and practicing censorship.

Cuba: Gay Expression

  27 May 2009

Diaspora blogger Uncommon Sense says of the arrest of the President of the Cuban Lesbian, Gay, Transexual and Bisexual Foundation: “After 50 years, the Castro dictatorship has yet to get over its hang-ups over Cubans – gay or straight – expressing themselves.”

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Palestine: Israeli Armed Police Disrupt Literature Festival

The Palestine Festival of Literature is a traveling cultural roadshow touring across the West Bank, in Palestine, from May 23 to 28. The aim is to take literary activities to Palestinians, who aren't allowed to travel under the occupation. However, the opening was marred when armed Israeli police ordered the theatre where the event was hosted to shut down. Bloggers from around the world reacted to the incident.

Cuba: Antúnez Arrested

  26 May 2009

“Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’ and six other anti-government activists were arrested in Havana…”: Uncommon Sense has the details.

China: Should journalists be tried for bribery?

  26 May 2009

David Bandurski from China Media Project looked into into the trial of Fu Hua, a journalist, who was charged with bribery for accepting 5,000 yuan in exchange for a list of sources for a story about construction problems at an airport in Jilin Province. As David Bandurski pointed out the...

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Trinidad & Tobago: Where's the Integrity?

  25 May 2009

Transparency and good governance have been popular topics in the Caribbean blogosphere of late. The latest debacle over integrity (or lack thereof?) comes from Trinidad and Tobago, where, in the last few weeks, a second attempt to establish an Integrity Commission has come to a crashing halt amidst revelations that the Chair of the Commission, a Catholic priest, had committed acts of plagiarism. To add even more fuel to the fire, the journalist who drew attention to the plagiarism in the first place, appears to have been fired. Bloggers speak out.

Jamaica: Calabash & Language

  25 May 2009

Annie Paul blogs about Jamaica's Calabash Literary Festival, at which some folks were offended by the colourful language in authors’ readings: “Does shielding young ears from words like pussy, bombaclaat, pumpum and other such words ensure a more sensitive, ethical adult? Especially when they can see for themselves the hypocritical,...

Cuba: “Cubans Can Connect”

  25 May 2009

“I’m coming to believe that the influence of the Internet on our reality is bigger than I thought”: When it comes to limitations imposed on Cubans having online access, Generation Y says: “We need to make the most of the situation, now they are saying ‘Cubans can connect’, and take...

Fiji: Reaction to detention of alleged bloggers

  25 May 2009

Global Voices previously reported that Fiji police detained and seized the laptops of three people who had been named as bloggers behind the anti-government site Raw Fiji News. The three lawyers had recently been named by the pro-government site Real Fiji News. While police confirmed the detentions and laptop seizures, a spokesman would not say why the three men were hauled in. All three have been released, but no word as yet on their laptops.

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