Tag: Freedom of Speech

Crimea: freedom of speech turns to freedom of silence

Crimea has had no independent media for two and a half years now — a Crimean journalist speaks about the situation on condition of anonymity.

The author, a Crimean journalist, has requested that we publish this article anonymously.

In March 2014, after the referendum on Crimea’s “unification” with Russia that was not recognised beyond the latter’s borders, Ukrainian legislation was gradually squeezed out by Russian law. The official transition period was supposed to end on 1 January 2015, but there were exceptions in some areas. Free registration for Crimea’s media companies by Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor was, for example, extended to 1 April of that year. Crimean media could effectively continue to function up until then, but many found their access to government bodies already closed and officials refusing to talk to them.

The UAE Has Avoided an ‘Arab Spring’ by Systematically Repressing Critical Speech

Three years ago, the UAE government prosecuted en masse 94 government critics and activists who called for reform in the Emirates.

Since this time, there has been no Arab Spring-like uprising. No anti-government protests that have come close to shaking the ruling regime. Yet the state-sponsored repression of human rights advocates and journalists continues unabated.

Arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, unfair trials, deportations, and revocation of citizenships are among the tactics the UAE authorities regularly deploy to silence dissident voices and make sure that no such uprising takes place within its borders.

Before Celebrating Gawker’s Demise, Consider This

Forget for a moment the question about whether celebrity sex tapes are “newsworthy.” The real question is whether we want juries determining what is, and what is not “newsworthy.”

In March, a Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan a plum $140 million in his suit against Gawker.com (Bollea v Gawker). Hogan argued that Gawker’s publication of a sex tape was an invasion of privacy, having no “news” value.

If one verdict can put a media company out of business, this seems very much like a form of arbitrary regulation of the press.As I write, Gawker Media appears to be in financial tailspin. In May, Gawker was denied its motion for a new trial or reduction in damages. Gawker was ultimately forced to declare bankruptcy, and its sale to Univision was quickly approved. Then, on August 18, it was announced that Gawker.com would cease operations.