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· May, 2012

Stories about Freedom of Speech from May, 2012

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Eurovision Propaganda Fail

Global Chaos takes a look at the government-led publicity and international media attention surrounding this years Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Public Diplomacy blog also notes the propaganda deployed by arch-foe Armenia's Public TV against Azerbaijan during the final, including re-inventing elements of Novruz as Christian even...

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Cuba: Bloggers Discuss Mariela Castro's US Visit

  31 May 2012

On the heels of United States President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage, Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and Director of the country's Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (National Center for Sex Education), has been addressing gay rights activists during her tour of the United States. Her trip has been stirring up some controversy in the Cuban blogosphere.

China: Weibo Censorship Pattern

  31 May 2012

Andrew Phelps from Nieman Journalism Lab looks into Chinese micro-blogging platform, Sina Weibo's censorship pattern and offers explanation on why and when tweets are deleted.

Greece: Citizens Protest Against Major TV Station

  30 May 2012

Greek netizens via Twitter and other social media organized a protest on May 17 before the MEGA TV station in Athens, under hashtag #oloimega (All to Mega). The station has been accused of allegedly displaying government driven propaganda. Stathis Kalligeris released a photo collection on Demotix, while Peru21.pe offers [es] a...

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Brazil: SlutWalks Spread Across the Country

  29 May 2012

On May 26th and 27th, a number of cities around Brazil were the scene of the second round of protests known as SlutWalks, calling for women's liberty and the right of women to dress as they want without being the victims of violence or moralism. Global Voices has selected a series of photos of protests around the country.

A Social Network for Wikileaks Supporters

  28 May 2012

Friends of Wikileaks (FoWL) is an independent social network for worldwide supporters of Wikileaks. People who join the site are paired with twelve others who speak the same language. FoWL groups from different countries have issued a statement of support for Julian Assange in advance of a United Kingdom supreme...

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Ukraine: Homophobic Legal Initiatives in Sync with Public Attitudes

Ukraine's first Gay Pride Parade ever failed to take place on May 20 due to perceived threats of violence against its participants; one of the organizers was attacked and beaten by a group of masked men. Meanwhile, Ukrainian MPs representing various political forces seem for once united in their attempts to ban "homosexual propaganda" in the country.

Slovakia: “God Can Cure You”

On May 26, approximately 50-60 opponents of the upcoming Gay Pride gathered [sk] in Bratislava for a rally organized by the Association for Protection of Family, together with the Citizens’ Association for Christian Values and Traditions. The main organizer, Jozef Dupkala, offering a helping hand to homosexuals, said: “Your current...

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Cuba: The State of Human Rights

  26 May 2012

The recent request for information by the United Nations‘ Committee Against Torture with regard to alleged abuses in Cuba has got bloggers talking about the human rights situation on the island.

Azerbaijan: Rewriting The Geopolitical Narrative

Following concern expressed in some quarters with how the international media has covered the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, East of Center looks at the geopolitical issues behind Western engagement of the oil-rich former Soviet republic, arguing that policy towards Azerbaijan might not solely be confined to energy interests.

Saudi Arabia: Censorship of Wikipedia

Saudi Arabia, one of Reporters Without Borders’ Internet Enemies, has blocked access to many articles on the free encyclopedia Wikipedia. The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission has censored over 130 articles in Arabic and English, including articles relating to sex and sexuality, the human body, and the theory of...

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Mauritania: Student Scandal Rocks Presidential Palace

  25 May 2012

On May 3 a group of Mauritanian students made a surprise revelation at a press conference. They announced that the president's chief of staff Isselkou Ould Izidbih had attempted to bribe them to give up their struggle for students' rights as well as to stop sit-ins and protests.

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Russia: Q&A with Tina Kandelaki

Tina Kandelaki is a Russian journalist, a TV celebrity and producer, a widely read blogger, and -- more recently -- a visible presence in Russian politics. Be it on the cover of Russian Maxim magazine or in her endorsement of Vladimir Putin, Kandelaki has aroused the interest and sometimes the ire of other prominent RuNet actors. Ms. Kandelaki recently spoke to GV about her public life.

Azerbaijan: Live Eurovision Human Rights Discussion on Facebook

On the eve of this year's Eurovision Song Contest final in Baku, Azerbaijan, RFE/RL is planning a live Facebook chat with Elisa Munoz, Acting Executive Director of the International Women's Media Foundation, and Khadija Ismayilova, investigative reporter and talk show host for RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service, at 13.00 EDT (17.00 GMT)...

Armenia: Fascist Rubo (Hayrapetyan)

With anti-gay hysteria breaking out in nationalist and official circles, Unzipped: Gay Armenia now reports that Ruben Hayrapetyan, a ruling Republican Party MP and President of the Armenian Football Association, has joined in by declaring that homosexuals should be ‘punished.’ One of Armenia's notorious oligarchs also known as ‘Nemetz (German)...

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Taiwan: When News is Sold to the Chinese Government

  24 May 2012

In recent years, more and more Taiwanese media workers have been worried that press freedom has been eroding. In addition to the "embedded marketing" practice which cloaks advertising as news, the mainland China government has extended influence on the Taiwan public sphere through news industry acquisitions.

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