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Call for Malaysian authorities to drop charges against cartoonist Zunar

Posted on: 
1 Jun 2015

The Media Legal Defence Initiative joins Article 19, English PEN, Index on Censorship and PEN International in calling on the Malaysian prime minister to drop all charges of sedition against the cartoonist, Zunar. If convicted, Zunar could face up to 43 years imprisonment.

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Burundi Journalists' Union v Attorney-General of Burundi: a positive judgment in the midst of a crisis

Posted on: 
21 May 2015

On 15 May 2015, the East African Court of Justice (the “EACJ”) delivered its judgment in Burundi Journalists Union v. The Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi , in which it considered Law No.1/11 (the “Press Law”) regulating the press, film and broadcasting sectors in Burundi.

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Lost in the Web: Navigating the Legal Maze Online

Posted on: 
20 May 2015

A few weeks ago in Berlin, I spoke at re:publica about threats to free speech online such as technical censorship, the use of copyright laws to curtail free speech, liability for user comments, and the right to be forgotten. It’s not always easy to get people interested in talking about the law, so I was happy that people showed up.

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To Be or Not to Be Anonymous: How Should Bloggers Decide?

Posted on: 
1 May 2015

Should you be anonymous online? If you were giving advice to a blogger, independent journalist, or online activist on this issue, what factors would you want her to consider? Many of us have been through this process, but it is something we don’t talk about much, as it often happens in private spaces.

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Re:Baltica defeats frivolous defamation claim

Posted on: 
7 Apr 2015

The Latvian courts have upheld a journalistic website’s right to report on stories of widespread money laundering. The Baltic Centre for Investigative Journalism, otherwise known as Re:Baltica , is a celebrated non-profit organisation of journalists in Latvia that produces pieces of investigative journalism for free.

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Azerbaijani journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, remains in prison in ever-increasing crackdown on freedom of expression

Posted on: 
20 Mar 2015

Three months after her arrest on 5 December 2014, award-winning Azerbaijani journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, remains in prison without trial or even a trial date in sight. On 24 February 2015, Ismayilova's pre-trial detention was extended by another two months and it is expected that the detention will again be extended at the next hearing.

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ECtHR Vindicates Hidden Camera’s Role in Watchdog Journalism

Posted on: 
16 Mar 2015

Haldimann and Others v Switzerland , a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”) published on 24 February 2015, backed the investigative methods of four Swiss journalists who had used hidden cameras to expose the malpractice of insurance brokers. The ECtHR found by a majority decision that the journalists’ criminal conviction by the domestic courts and an order to pay a number of small fines violated their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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Vietnamese Photojournalist Continues Hunger Strike After Four Years Behind Bars

Posted on: 
16 Mar 2015

Young photo journalist Minh Man Dang Nguyen has been on hunger strike for prolonged periods of time in recent months to protest the ill-treatment she has received while in detention in Vietnam. As a result of her repeated hunger strikes , she recently weighed only 35 kg.

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Renowned Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Still Detained After 10 Months

Posted on: 
2 Mar 2015

Prominent human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang , who was arrested on 4 May 2014, has now spent ten months in detention without a trial. He is facing charges that include inciting ethnic hatred, inciting the splitting of the country and creating a public disturbance; the latter an increasingly popular means of silencing dissent often described as a “pocket crime”, as anything can be stuffed into it.

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