Stories about Freedom of Speech from May, 2012
India: User's guide to Indian free speech
Nila at Akhond Of Swat lists some controversial subjects the Indians should not write about to avoid offending someone (and going to jail).
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...
Cuba: Bloggers Discuss Mariela Castro's US Visit
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
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
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...
Why Are Governments in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan Afraid of ‘The Dictator'?
Tomyris explains why the authorities in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have banned The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s latest spoof blockbuster, and writes about Western media's reaction to the ban.
Malaysia: Petition for Free and Fair Access to Media
Bersih, an election reform movement in Malaysia, identifies key reforms that the government can implement to ensure free and fair access to media during elections
Brazil: SlutWalks Spread Across the Country
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
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...
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...
Cuba: The State of Human Rights
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.
Azerbaijan: More Arrests Despite ‘Eurovision Effect’
On the eve of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Azerbaijan, police in Baku, the capital, have arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists protesting against human rights violations in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.
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...
Mauritania: Student Scandal Rocks Presidential Palace
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.
Armenia: US Embassy Condemns Attack on Gay-Friendly Bar
Ararat has more on the firebombing of D.I.Y., a gay-friendly bar in Yerevan, in a post by Global Voices’ Caucasus Regional Editor while Unzipped: Gay Armenia publishes a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Armenia condemning the ultra-nationalist attack.
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)...
Taiwan: When News is Sold to the Chinese Government
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.