Censorship

In jurisdictions around the world, there are laws or administrative practices that can be abused to censor critical voices on- and offline.

Criminal defamation laws are easily abused by authorities to limit scrutiny and to stifle public debates, and are often used against journalists reporting on controversial issues, or members of the public expressing themselves online.

Equally, laws that criminalise so-called “false news” provide public authorities with a powerful instrument to control journalistic activities: allowing public officials to decide what counts as truth is tantamount to accepting that the forces in power have a right to silence any opposition.    Like ‘hate speech’ or terrorism, the notion of “fake news” is too vague to prevent subjective and arbitrary interpretation.

Laws that seek to deal with the dissemination of unlawful content on social media also often fail to comply with international standards, by being too broad and therefore encouraging social media platforms to over-censor.

While forms of censorship have evolved with the growth of the internet as a space for expression, efforts by states to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression through vague and broad provisions are still a frequent occurrence.

07.12.2017 6 min read

Turkey: Academics for Peace trials violate free expression

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06.12.2017 4 min read

Singapore: Drop charges against Jolovan Wham and stop on-going crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly

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Malaysia: Cartoonist Zunar barred from travel and facing new investigation
30.11.2017 4 min read

Malaysia: Cartoonist Zunar barred from travel and facing new investigation

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13.10.2017 4 min read

US: Trump comments on revoking media licenses threaten free speech

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11.10.2017 5 min read

Rwanda: National Election Commission to censor candidates’ online campaign messages

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09.10.2017 16 min read

Malaysia: Joint Statement by civil society on book banning, thought control and academic meddling

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05.10.2017 6 min read

EU fails to protect free speech online, again

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03.10.2017 4 min read

Uganda: Ban on live coverage limits access to information

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22.09.2017 4 min read

Tanzania: Newspaper MwanaHalisi banned for sedition

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