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Thailand: Man Sentenced for Insulting Royal Family

(Apr. 8, 2013) On March 28, 2013, Akachai Hongkangwan, a 37 year-old Thai man, was given a sentence of imprisonment for three years and four months, in addition to a fine of 66,666 baht (about US$2,300). While the fine was for violations of copyright law, the prison term resulted from his being found guilty of […]

Canada: Supreme Court Delivers Hate Speech Ruling

(Mar. 15, 2013) The Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision on February 27, 2013, asserting that limits placed on free speech in connection with hate speech are valid under the Constitution, but disallowing limitation on expression that does not meet that standard. The case concerned William Whatcott, a conservative Christian activist who had been […]

Iceland: Internet Porn Ban Considered

(Feb. 25, 2013) It was reported on February 20, 2013, that Halla Gunnarsdóttir, an advisor in <?Iceland's Ministry of the Interior, has said that consensus is developing in the country for a ban on Internet pornography. She stated, "[w]e have so many experts, from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind […]

Indonesia: U.N. Experts Criticize Bill on Organizations

(Feb. 22, 2013) On February 14, 2013, a group of United Nations experts raised concerns about a bill being considered in the Indonesian legislature on mass organizations. The experts fear that it will impose “undue restrictions [on] the rights to freedom of association, expression, and religion.” (Indonesia: “Restrictive Bill Threatens Freedoms of Association, Expression, Religion,” […]

Maldives: President Signs Bill on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

(Jan. 22, 2013) The office of Maldives’ President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik announced on January 11, 2013, that he had signed the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Bill; the bill had been passed in the People’s Majlis (the legislature) on December 25, 2012. (Press Release, The President’s Office of the Republic of Maldives, President Ratifies Freedom […]

Maldives: Supreme Court Decision on Freedom of Assembly and Expression

(Dec. 13, 2012) During the first week of December 2012, the Supreme Court of Maldives ruled that police should investigate any criminal acts that occur during the exercise of people’s rights to free assembly and expression. The Court’s decision, a six-to-one ruling, was in a case brought in September 2012 by the Attorney General, seeking […]

Lebanon: Court Blocks Internet Access to Anti-Islam Film

(Oct. 1, 2012) In an effort to prohibit online access to the anti-Islamic film “The Innocence of Muslims,” which was produced in the <?United States, a Lebanese court issued a decision ordering the Lebanese Ministry of Communications to block the viewing of that film on the YouTube website. It was the first such decision in […]

Israel: Immediate Blocking of Israeli Web Access to Anti-Islam Film Rejected; Full Hearing Scheduled for October

(Sept. 25, 2012) On September 20, 2012, the Jerusalem District Court denied a request by Taleb a-Sanaa, a Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Member of the United Arab List- Ta’al Party, and other Arab leaders for an injunction to immediately order Google Israel to remove the “Innocence of Muslims,” a video offensive to Muslims, from Israel’s YouTube […]

Ethiopia: Journalists and Politician Sentenced on Terrorism Charges

(Feb. 1, 2012) On January 26, 2012, a court in Ethiopia sentenced five people to terms in prison varying from 14 years to, in one case, life, on charges of terrorism. They were convicted of taking part in a terrorist organization and planning an act of terrorism. According to the prosecution, the punishments were “according […]

Senegal: Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Jail

(Oct. 26, 2011) On October 20, 2011, a court in Senegal sentenced Malick Noel Seck to two years of imprisonment following his conviction for issuing a death threat and for contempt of court. The charges stemmed from an open letter that Seck, an opposition activist, had written to senior judges. He was accused of threatening […]