· May, 2010

Stories about Freedom of Speech from May, 2010

MENA: International Day Against Homophobia Celebrated

May 17th marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is still a region for concern according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (IGLA), as homosexual acts are still legally punishable in all MENA countries with the exception of Israel. Despite this, there are associations in the region which openly and passionately celebrated IDAHO; Katharine Ganly takes a look at some of the major events in the region.

Facebook Is Blocked in Pakistan As It Indulges In A Controversial Campaign

  19 May 2010

After the outcry surrounding the Draw Mohammed Day Facebook page, which is campaigning for the creation of mass cartoon caricatures of Prophet Muhammed [PBUH] on the 20th of May, today the Lahore High Court ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block the entire Facebook.com domain in Pakistan till the 31st of May. Pakistani bloggers react.

Bahrain: Why was Al Jazeera's Office Shut Down?

Bahrain temporarily shut down the office of Al Jazeera Satellite Channel for "violating professional conventions." Bloggers and tweeps react to the development in this post - especially after rumours surfaced that the Qatari station's bureau was closed because of a report it aired on poverty in Bahrain. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera says it doesn't even operate an office in Bahrain so what exactly is going on?

India: Opting Out Of Facebook

  18 May 2010

Indian diaspora blogger Selvakumar Ganesan, who blogs at The Scientific Indian, has completely and permanently deleted his data from Facebook. Learn how and why.

Pakistan: The Draw Mohammed Day Controversy

  18 May 2010

A controversial Facebook campaign called “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” has irked many Muslims across the world. This has also caused an uproar in the Pakistani blogosphere and many bloggers are questioning the motives, the necessity and the hypocrisy behind this initiative.

Taiwan: Expecting Youth Power of New Generation

  18 May 2010

Aboutfish, former senior journalist and now the founder of TaiwanGoodLife(online aggregator of citizen media), talks about the moments of democratic enlightenment in her youth life(zht). Like most Taiwanese born before 1980, she did not know any democratic movements and protests ever happened in Taiwan due to media and ideological control...

China: Blogger interrogated after criticizing Shanghai EXPO 2010

  18 May 2010

A blogger, A Bad Friend, was summoned by security police for interrogation over tea upon writing an article, 10 sins of EXPO 2010, on his blog. After the tea session, he wrote another article, “La Dernière Classe”, recording the conversation between the security police and himself. The exchange reflects the ideological conflict between a party-state nation represented by the security police and a people-orientated nation represented by the student blogger.

Russia: “Novaya Gazeta” Down

The Web site of Russia's independent newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” seems to be down. As the newspaper's blog states, it's not a DDOS-attack but a hosting provider's issue due to the yesterday's rainstorm. However, the sudden blackout might be connected with the events in Kemerovo region.

Puerto Rico: In Solidarity

  17 May 2010

Repeating Islands reports that “public figures including musicians, singers, and sports personalities from Latin America and Spain” have sent messages of support to the students who are on strike at the University of Puerto Rico.

Azerbaijan: Revisiting Flower Day

Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines marks Flower Day in Baku, Azerbaijan, by looking back at the event last year when dozens of youth activists were detained. This year the blog follows the event online via Facebook and Twitter.

Armenia: Banned TV station online

Following its removal from the airwaves by the authorities in April 2002 despite international outcry, and after already experimenting with short broadcasts via mobile, The Armenian Observer reports that A1 Plus has begun testing broadcasting online via Livestream.

Cuba: Remembering Zapata

  14 May 2010

Uncommon Sense pays tribute to the late political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who would have turned 43 tomorrow, while El Cafe Cubano reports that his tomb has been desecrated.

Bermuda: Media Council

  14 May 2010

“I believe the Media Council bill is badly written, steeped in political motive, and an affront to freedom of the speech in Bermuda”: Vexed Bermoothes thinks the implementation of the proposed bill “is flawed for many reasons.”

Uzbekistan: Andijan Massacre, 5 years after

Yesterday, May 13, marked five years since Uzbek security troops killed hundreds of anti-government protesters in the city of Andijan. People were protesting against harsh socio-economic environment and repressive politics in the region. The government decided to take strong measures at the very early stage of the protests. That day...

Hungary: The Story of an Investigative Journalist

Investigative journalist Tamás Bodoky resigned from index.hu because of a debate on whether it was appropriate to delete a paragraph from one of his stories after it had already been published. The Hungarian media are still discussing the issue which he covered, and this case has also inspired a public conversation about investigative journalism in the country.

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