Tag Archives: Freedom of expression

World Press Freedom Day: Press freedom in peril

UNESCO’s World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Global Report 2021/2022 “compiles the grim evidence that journalism can no longer be taken for granted and outlines actions for the global community to act swiftly to protect and promote press freedom and public access to free, independent, and pluralistic news media.” | Five articles

• Press Freedom in Peril

• Freedom of Expression – a Human Right

• Freedom of Information – Also a Human Right

• Press Freedom and Governance Raises the Issue of Who Governs

• Origins and Purpose of World Press Freedom Day

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Canadian Civil Liberties Association launches lawsuit against Emergencies Act

On February 17, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) announced it will pursue litigation to challenge the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act. It issued a press release which says:

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Attempts to get away with defamation in the name of opposing hate

The use of amorphous terms like “hate” or “anti-Semitism” to defame and silence people who speak out against Israel’s occupation of Palestine and who advocate for Palestinian rights.

By Mira Katz

A serious issue at this time in Ontario is the use of amorphous terms like “hate” or “anti-Semitism” to defame and silence people who speak out against Israel’s occupation of Palestine and who advocate for Palestinian rights. It is also extended to apply more broadly to matters of war and occupation. Educators in particular are being targeted, with the allegation that by opposing Israel’s occupation or even sharing information which clearly opposes occupation in a general sense, they are spreading “hate” and anti-Semitism. These allegations are then used to trigger police powers to either suspend educators from work or prevent them from getting work. 

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Troubling expansion of powers to subject teachers’ conscience to scrutiny

There Is No Such Thing as a Right to Defame

By Enver Villamizar

One of the programs of the different provincial governments in Canada has been to limit educators’ professional judgment in various ways while at the same time increasing the government’s ability to decide what teachers can and cannot say or do in the classroom or outside of the classroom. This comes at a time that governments are attempting to impose retrogressive changes to the content of education such as is the case in Alberta with the new K-6 curriculum or in Ontario with new Health and Physical Education and Math curriculums. A definite direction of these governments is to divert from their anti-social restructuring of the state, and in this case of education, by claiming that the biggest problem in education is educators and their unions in order to justify trying to silence them or ignore their expertise. Thus, alongside the changes to education there has been a campaign to demonize and threaten educators for speaking out in general on matters of concern such as the rights of Indigenous peoples, pipelines or matters of war and peace.

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Journalists around the world call for Julian Assange

INITIATED ON DECEMBER 6, 2019, BY TWO SWISS JOURNALISTS SERENA TINARI AND CATHERINE RIVA, THE JOURNALISTS’ CALL FOR JULIAN ASSANGE HAS ALREADY GARNERED PRESTIGIOUS SIGNATURES. WE JOIN IN AND INVITE ALL PROFESSIONALS IN THE TRADE TO DO THE SAME. THE CALL IS RESERVED FOR JOURNALISTS AND RELATED PROFESSIONS, EDITORS, CRITICS, OBSERVERS. Continue reading

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The case of defamation of University of Alberta Lecturer Dougal MacDonald


Threat to Academic Freedom

The following article, “Threat to Academic Freedom,” was written in 1953 by Charles Herbert Huestis, great grandfather of Dr. Dougal MacDonald, and reproduced by permission of the family. Various sympathizers of the claim that the famine in the Ukraine in 1932-33 was man-made by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin are demanding the dismissal of Dr. MacDonald who teaches at the University of Alberta. They claim that even if his views on the so-called Holodomor were not presented in his classroom, he is causing transgenerational trauma and his presence at the university poses a threat. Continue reading

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Freedom of the press, Trudeau-Freeland style

Media.rca Nipper.jpg(February 3, updated February 10) – As part of the brutal information war on the question of Venezuela and other questions, Global Affairs, the Canadian foreign affairs ministry, denied accreditation to the South American news agency teleSUR and blocked it from covering the highly irregular meeting of its Lima Group in Ottawa on Monday February 4. In addition, three Russian news agencies were prohibited from attending the official press conference. Continue reading

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Israel compiled ‘long file’ on journalist it deported

A graffiti is seen in one of the destroyed quarter of Shujayea, east of Gaza city, March 21, 2015. The rubble are then recycled to produce bad quality concrete. Six month after the ceasefire that ended the Israeli 2014 summer offensive, 100,000 Palestinians are still displaced and many live in dire conditions. Rebuilding materials are scarce as the Gaza Strip face restrictions imposed by Israel. Anne Paq ActiveStills

German journalist Martin Lejeune witnessed the destruction caused by Israel in Gaza during the summer of 2014. Photo shows a graffiti seen in one of the destroyed quarter of Shujayea, east of Gaza city, March 21, 2015. The rubble is recycled to produce bad quality concrete. 100,000 Palestinians are still displaced and many live in dire conditions. Rebuilding materials are scarce as the Gaza Strip face restrictions imposed by Israel. Anne Paq ActiveStills

Adri Nieuwhof Rights and Accountability

(December 18) – Israel’s Government Press Office appears to be building up files on international journalists who criticize the oppression faced by Palestinians.

The conduct of this surveillance has been revealed by German journalist Martin Lejeune who has been deported from Tel Aviv. Continue reading

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Journalists: Your colleagues in Palestine are under daily Israeli attacks!

May 4th was World Press Freedom Day. So far in 2015, 44 journalists have died in the line of work. Israel alone killed 17 Palestinian media workers its 51-day military aggression against the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian journalist.Photo from Qamar Ahmad.1Un-Explained – A Hamas senior official along with a Palestinian media organization demanded on Sunday the prosecution of Israel for killing, injuring and arresting Palestinian pressmen. Continue reading

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Bill C-51: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression – Open Letter

2015.03.14.Citizen Journalism.Toronto-NoBillC-51-22More than 100 organizations and individuals (including this journalist) have signed an open letter dated April 13 calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrap Bill C-51. The letter, drafted by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) calls for “the immediate and unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015” and points out that “amendments cannot repair such an extensive and dangerous piece of legislation.” Continue reading

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Hypocrisy, hysteria and historical falsification around the attacks against Charlie Hebdo

Freedom of speech of the reactionary ruling classes

By JEAN-DANIEL NOLIN

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo has resulted in a huge wave of sympathy and opposition to terrorist attacks. These just actions are positions of principle, as are the demonstrations of Muslim peoples demanding that the Prophet Muhammad not be caricatured. Blasphemy is a social act – an act directed toward someone else and their beliefs, which all persons whether religious, atheist or agnostic must respect. Without this respect, there is no discussion possible.

As with any event, the bourgeoisie advances its pawns. It presents itself as democratic, defending of freedom of speech, for peace, etc. In reality, it is doing the exact opposite. It muzzles scientists, cuts subsidies to organizations critical of its policies, militarizes the police against its own people, engages more and more in military adventures, etc. Continue reading

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Harper government’s freedom of expression: A photographer and Palestine

Larry Towell

Larry Towell

Many Canadians are concerned about the duplicity of Harper’s espousal of “Canadian values” of tolerance, balance, and so on, and its use of “anti-terrorism” to suppress democratic rights. The freedom of expression of those championing the cause of the Palestinians is a case in point. His cabal uses its power to declare that the struggle of the Palestinian people is illegal and, on this basis, declares that any support for this struggle is “anti-semitic” and a hate crime against Canadian values.

 Larry Towell, a prominent Canadian photographer, is one of the latest subjects of an attempt by the Harper government to dictate what can and cannot be said by Canadians at home – or abroad, as in his case. Continue reading

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NATO: Turkish intelligence ships arms for Al-Qaeda in Syria

By Fehim Taştekin

(Jan. 16) – Secret official documents about the searching of three trucks belonging to Turkey’s national intelligence service (MIT) have been leaked online, once again corroborating suspicions that Ankara has not been playing a clean game in Syria. Continue reading

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France: Dubious comparisons

In the days since the attacks in France, the monopoly media and the likes of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have been making questionable links between terrorists and freedom and resistance fighters. In the context of the events in France, they have tried to connect French resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, such as national hero Jean Moulin, with the “resistance” of the West to “Islamic obscurantism.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry did so in his speech in Washington, delivered in French. The widely circulated newspaper Libération made this the front page headline in its Saturday, January 10 edition. Continue reading

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Intolerance in the name of tolerance

Freedom of speech of the reactionary ruling classes

By SAM HEATON

Resistance to the Harper government’s attacks on First Nations

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined the chorus of reactionary leaders in various countries proclaiming that the armed men who attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris were part of a war against freedom of expression, a war against “anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they would think and act.”

Besides the shallowness of these comments, Canadians are astounded to hear such a thing from the very Prime Minister whose main hallmark is to brook no opposition from any quarter. Continue reading

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With power of social media growing, police now monitoring and criminalizing online speech

The Intercept (Jan. 6) – ON March 6, 2012, six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside explosive device, and a national ritual of mourning and rage ensued. Prime Minister David Cameron called it a “desperately sad day for our country.” A British teenager, Azhar Ahmed, observed the reaction for two days and then went to Facebook to angrily object that the innocent Afghans killed by British soldiers receive almost no attention from British media. He opined that the UK’s soldiers in Afghanistan are guilty, their deaths deserved, and are therefore going to hell. Continue reading

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Cynical use of Paris demonstration by war criminals and ruling elites

Freedom of speech of the reactionary ruling classes . . . and a staged photo
A march of 1.3 million people took place in Paris on January 11 to condemn terrorism and express outrage at the shooting in Paris on January 7, with millions more demonstrating in other parts of France. The participation of 40 heads of state and other international figures was heralded in the monopoly media which ran photos suggesting these leaders stood at the head of the march through Paris streets. An angle shown on French television reveals the staged nature of the photos, taken on a closed and guarded side street.

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The 2012 ban on Press TV by the European Union

Dr. ISMAIL SALAMI*

voltaire(Oct, 17, 2012) – The recent EU move to take Press TV off the air is to be seen as part of a continued process of media violation against this alternative channel.

On Monday, UK-based Eutelsat, which is run by Michel de Rosen, a Zionist Israeli-French, stopped carrying Press TV and some 18 other channels from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), a move which Gary Follows, Arqiva Head of Public Relations, says is a “result of reinforced EU Council sanctions and repeated requests by France’s broadcasting authority for the permanent switch-off of the Iranian channels.” UK-based Arqiva is the service supplier which held the IRIB contract. Continue reading

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Charlie Hebdo, the free press and racism

The banner of ‘Youth against racism’ in a protest in Paris, November 2013.

The banner of ‘Youth against racism’ in a protest in Paris, November 2013.

By SARAH FLOUNDERS

How do we put in perspective the international media focus on the massacre of 12 journalists in Paris on Jan. 7 at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, notorious for its racist anti-Muslim caricatures and lack of response to the routine, daily, racist police murders of Black youth in the U.S.? Why were any protests banned in France of 15 journalists who were killed among the 2,000 deaths in the Israeli assault of Gaza this past summer? Don’t those lives matter?

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Freedom of expression: The ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ even arrests Jewish journalists

“The allegations against us: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist.” – GIDEON LEVY in Haaretz

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France: Descent into unprecedented state of anarchy and violence

By PAULINE EASTON

(Jan. 10) – As horrendous as the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo was, most alarming is the fact that France has descended into an unprecedented state of anarchy and violence. The people are held hostage to its crisis-ridden measures which only further deepen the all-sided crisis in which France is mired. Continue reading

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The slain Palestinian journalists you don’t hear about

Some were killed in their homes, others were “deliberately targeted”

Palestinian journalists iconMa’an News Agency (August 26) – A Palestinian media watchdog said that July was the bloodiest month on record in the history of the Palestinian press, as nine journalists were killed and eight media outlets shelled during the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms said in a statement that the targeting of Palestinian media had continued into August, with at least six more journalists killed in the last three weeks as well. Continue reading

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IFJ condemns shooting of photojournalist in Ramallah

Palestinian journalists icon[Press Release, 5 March 2013] – A PALESTINIAN PHOTOJOURNALIST was shot and severely injured by an Israeli soldier near the Ofer prison in Ramallah last Friday evening, according to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

The IFJ has today condemned the shooting, calling for an investigation to identify and punish the shooter. Continue reading

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Palestinian journalists in Israeli detention

27 Palestinian journalists detained in the last two years by Zionist “democracy”

Palestinian journalists icon(23 February 2013) – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today backed the call by its affiliate in Palestine, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), which organised a protest in Ramallah to demand the release of their colleagues held by Israel.

The PJS organised the sit-in protest outside the Ofer detention center in east of Ramallah  while an Israeli court held a hearing in the case of detained Palestinian journalist Amir Abu Arafah and cartoonist Muhammad Sabanah. Continue reading

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When its OK to kill a hack

1999.04.23.NATO bombing RTS

NATO’s bombed the RTS (Radio-Television Serbia) studios in Belgrade on April 23, 1999 killing 16 journalists and support staff.

By CHARLES GLASS, The Spectator

(February 5) – It’s official. Thirty-three journalists died violently in war zones last year. The figure — nine up on the year before — has just been released by the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists. Sierra Leone was the most dangerous destination in 1999: ten reporters were killed there last year. Next on the list was Serbia, where six reporters lost their lives; then came Colombia, with four deaths. The CPJ concludes, ‘We see a clear policy, particularly in Sierra Leone, Colombia and East Timor, of armed factions seeking to banish journalists in order to hide the truth.’ Continue reading

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