Free Expression & the Law

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

4955 articles
Link to: Journalist Jama Ayanle Feyte pardoned and released

On 15 April 2009, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomed with joy the release of journalist Jama Ayanle Feyte from the Bossasso jail after a pardon from the Puntland president

Link to: Jailed newspaper editor pardoned by head of military government

Reporters Without Borders hails the release of Abdel Fettah Ould Abeidna, editor of the weekly “Al Aqsa”, on 8 April 2009 as a result of a pardon issued by the head of the military government, Gen. Ould Abdel Aziz.

Link to: Editor Ali Hasanov released from prison

On 11 April 2009, “Ideal” newspaper editor-in-chief Ali Hasanov was released from prison #5.

Link to: Two Moroccan journalists prevented from covering presidential election

Reporters Without Borders deplores the 9 April 2009 arrest of two Moroccan journalists, Hicham El Madraoui and Mahfoud Aït Bensaleh, who had gone to Algiers to cover the presidential election for the Moroccan weekly “Assahrae Al Ousbouiya”.

Link to: WPFC urges president to decriminalise defamation laws; journalist Freddy Aponte released from prison

(WPFC/IFEX) – The following is a 23 March 2009 WPFC letter to President Rafael Correa Delgado: His Excellency Rafael Correa Delgado President of the Republic Presidential Palace Quito, Ecuador Your Excellency, The World Press Freedom Committee ( ) – an organization representing 45 press freedom groups from throughout the world – expresses its profound […]

Link to: Newspaper suspended and fined after reporting on horse-racing scandal

(ANHRI/IFEX)- On 19 November 2008, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned an order handed down on 18 November by the Abu Dhabi court of appeal suspending the “Emarat Alyoum” newspaper for defamation. The court also fined the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Sami Al-Alraymi, 20,000 dirham (approx. US$5,400) and the newspaper 500,000 dirham (approx. US$136,000). […]

Link to: IAPA concerned at bid to amend Penal Code to stiffen penalties for journalists found guilty of defamation

(IAPA/IFEX) – The following is a 20 June 2006 IAPA press release: IAPA concerned at bid to amend Penal Code in Panama MIAMI, Florida (June 20, 2006) – The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) said today it is extremely concerned at the introduction of a draft bill to reform the Penal Code in Panama, saying […]

Link to: CAPSULE REPORT: Tide turning against criminal defamation says IFJ, citing developments in East Timor, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia

(IFJ/IFEX) – The following is an IFJ capsule report: Criminal defamation: Tide is turning in South East Asia The tide appears to be turning against criminal defamation in South East Asia following recent developments in East Timor, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). These developments suggest that national leaders and […]

Link to: In her year-end message, IAPA president welcomes elimination of “insult” laws in several countries, condemns violence against journalists

(IAPA/IFEX) – The following is a 16 December 2005 IAPA press release: December 16, 2005 YEAR-END MESSAGE FROM IAPA PRESIDENT Dear Colleagues and Friends of IAPA: As 2005 comes to a close, I thought it would be worth reviewing the accomplishments of the year, together with the work that has yet to be done. Although […]

Link to: Defamation a criminal offence under new penal code

(SEAPA/IFEX) – SEAPA has expressed alarm over the media situation in East Timor after Prime Minister Mari Altakiri signed an executive decree approving a penal code that criminalises defamation. On 6 December 2005, government spokesman Rui Flores issued a statement saying the penal code drafted by the Ministry of Justice had already been signed by […]

Link to: President Kabbah signals he is finally ready to amend draconian defamation law

(RSF/IFEX) – Reporters Without Borders has voiced interest in statements by Sierra Leonean officials that President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah is at last ready to amend a criminal defamation law included in the Public Order Act, which dates back to colonial times. The law’s victims include “For Di People” editor Paul Kamara, who was unjustly sentenced […]

Link to: WPFC urges President and National Assembly to take final steps to eliminate “insult” laws

(WPFC/IFEX) – The following is a 21 July 2005 WPFC letter to Panamanian President Martín Torrijos Espino: Washington, USA, July 21, 2005 His Excellency Martín Torrijos Espino President of the Republic of Panama Presidential Palace Panama City, Panama cc: Honorable Deputy Jerry Wilson Navarro, President of the National Assembly Your Excellency: On behalf of the […]

Link to: WPFC welcomes Constitutional Court’s decision to eliminate provisionally the crime of “insult” (“desacato”) from Criminal Code

(WPFC/IFEX) – The following is a 17 June 2005 WPFC letter to the members of the Constitutional Court: Washington, USA June 17, 2005 Their Excellencies the Members of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala 11 Avenida 9-37 Zona 1 Edificio Independencia Guatemala City, Guatemala Your Excellencies: On behalf of the World Press Freedom Committee (, an […]

Link to: WPFC praises Supreme Court decision to overturn “insult” laws; urges decriminalisation of defamation offences

(WPFC/IFEX) – The following is a 24 May 2005 WPFC letter to the Honduran Supreme Court: Washington, USA, May 24, 2004 Their Excellencies: Sonia Marlina Dubón Suyapa Thumann Carlos Armando Flores Carlos Gómez Moreno José Rolando Arriaga Sala de lo Constitucional Corte Suprema de Justicia Tegucigalpa, Honduras C/C to Her Excellency Vilma Cecila Morales President […]

Link to: Penal Code amendments pose threat to press freedom

(RSF/IFEX) – RSF has voiced concern over the increased penalties for press offences contained in amendments to Venezuela’s Penal Code, which took effect on 16 March 2005. The organisation called the amendments “a big step backwards” for press freedom. “Five of the 38 amended articles directly threaten press freedom,” RSF said. “Instead of moving towards […]

Link to: ARTICLE 19 analyses Thai defamation provisions

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) – The following is 29 November 2004 Article 19 press release: ARTICLE 19 ANALYSES THAI DEFAMATION PROVISIONS ARTICLE 19 has published a Memorandum analysing Thailand’s criminal and civil defamation provisions (1), as set out in the Penal and Civil Codes, against international and comparative standards in this area. The criminal defamation provisions are […]