Free Expression & the Law

When legislation and the judicial system affect your right to express yourself.

4952 articles
Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend a rally on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, 23 June 2018, YONAS TADESSE/AFP/Getty Images

Significant progress has been made on media freedom in Ethiopia, though there’s still a reluctance to critique the government or ask difficult questions. Hate speech on social media is a serious and growing problem, although the government’s proposed hate speech law raises concerns it may be used to stifle legitimate expressions of dissent.

Tanzanian troops stand at rest as a plane comes in a for a landing at Julius Nyerer International Airport in Dar es Salaam, 16 February 2008, JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Tanzanian authorities prevented Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, executive director of CIPESA, from attending the commemoration of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’ Day when they arrested him upon arrival in the country and deported him back to Uganda several hours later.

Protesters hold copies of the "Cumhuriyet" newspaper and placards during a demonstration in front of a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, 31 October 2017, YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images

April was a grim month for press freedom, with a young journalist shot dead in Northern Ireland, Julian Assange facing extradition to the US, and cartoonist Musa Kart and colleagues returning to jail. But there was also good LGBTQI+ rights news from Turkey and justice in a 20-year-old murder case in Serbia…

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Farhana was detained on 20 February and held since that time in an unknown location. No charges against him have been made public.

"Cumhuriyet" daily's cartoonist Musa Kart (C) stands with colleagues at a demonstration calling for the freedom of all jailed journalists at a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, 15 March 2018, OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Following a failed appeal in February against their terrorism-related convictions, cartoonist Musa Kart and 5 administrative staff were sent back to prison.

Participants in an opposition rally in central Moscow protest against tightening state control over the internet in Russia, 10 March 2019, Igor Russak/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The bill creates a system that gives the authorities the capacity to extra-judicially block access to parts of the Internet in Russia; the public would not know what has been blocked and why.

The head of the Egyptian National Elections Authority (NEA) attends a press conference at the NEA's headquarters to announce the results of the referendum on the constitutional amendments, in Cairo, 23 April 2019, Mohamed El Raai/picture alliance via Getty Images

This has been a grim month for Egyptians who seek a better life and believe in dignity and freedom.

Opposition journalists hold a press conference in connection with the 'Cumhuriyet' case, in Istanbul, Turkey, 22 April 2019, YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images

In February, an appeals court upheld the sentences handed to 14 ‘Cumhuriyet’ journalists in 2018. Those sentenced to more than 5 years can still appeal to the Supreme Court; however, sentences of less than 5 years are considered final.

AP / Jon Gambrell

Take action to help save the life of imprisoned human rights defender and blogger Ahmed Mansoor

A soldier and police officers stand outside a polling station during the national referendum on the constitutional amendments, in Cairo, Egypt, 22 April 2019, Islam Safwat/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The amendments will undermine the Egyptian judiciary’s dwindling independence and expand the military’s power to intervene in political life.

Benin President Patrice Talon speaks during a visit to the Regional stock exchange (Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières - BRVM) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 11 January 2017, ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities in Benin arrested Casimir Kpédjo, editor of newspaper Nouvelle Economie, from his home in Cotonou over an article on Benin’s debt.

A man (C) stands with a placard during a rally calling for reforms to the 2008 constitution in Naypyidaw, Burma, 31 March 2019, THET AUNG/AFP/Getty Images

20 expert organizations urge the government to guarantee freedom of expression in the Constitution.

Saudi men on their mobiles in the capital Riyadh, 17 July 2016, STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities arrested blogger Naif al-Hindas and bloggers and columnists Ali al-Saffar and Redha al-Boori.

Women walk through a street in Homs, Syria, 31 October 2017, Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ali Mahmoud Othman’s family was recently told he died in detention and is seeking official confirmation of his death and the return of his body.

A man attending the Frankfurt Book Fair holds up a piece of paper inscribed with the words: 'Where is (Chinese activist and writer) Tan Zuoren?' during the speech of Chinese vice President Xi Jinping in Frankfurt, Germany, 13 October 2009, JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

The proposed amendments will allow the transfer of “fugitives” from Hong Kong to mainland China.

People take part in a march against corruption and scandals linked to Brazil's construction giant Odebrecht, in Azua de Compostela, Dominican Republic, 21 May 2017, ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images

Alexandre de Moraes of the Supreme Court ruled that the website O Antagonista and the digital magazine Crusoé must remove content related to the report “The friend of the friend of my father”.