freedom of expression

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Auschwitz Memorial Chief: Let Me Serve Time for Boy, 13

Nigeria's Omar Farouq has been sentenced to 10 years for blasphemy

(Newser) - As director of the Auschwitz Memorial, Piotr Cywinski has a solid grasp of the horrors of detention. He's ready to dive in anyway. Cywinski has sent a letter to Nigeria's president requesting the pardon of a 13-year-old boy sentenced by a Sharia court to 10 years in prison... More »

College Probes Professor After 'Black Privilege' Remarks

University of Central Florida looking into complaints of bias against Charles Negy

(Newser) - A longtime tenured psychology professor at the University of Central Florida is under fire after a series of online posts. Per the New York Times , Negy, who has written a book about "white Americans under siege," recently put up multiple tweets that he acknowledged "will infuriate folks.... More »

Netflix Ordered to Pull Film About Gay Jesus

Brazilian judge says 'freedom of expression ... is not absolute'

(Newser) - A Brazilian judge has ordered Netflix to remove a film depicting Jesus Christ with a boyfriend. The First Temptation of Christ, released as a Christmas special, caused such fury among Brazil's conservative Christians that 2 million signed a petition calling for its removal, while a group lobbed firebombs at... More »

'Expression of Disapproval' Got Her Fired. Now She's Suing

Juli Briskman says employer violated state law by firing her after she flipped off Trump's motorcade

(Newser) - While not everybody is in favor of flipping off President Trump's motorcade, "there can be no doubt that such speech is at the very core of the First Amendment and the Virginia Constitution," says a lawyer for a woman fired for making the gesture last fall. Marketing... More »

Running in Packs Now Banned in Sierra Leone

Authorities say groups are running 'with a hint of menace'

(Newser) - For decades, young people have taken to the streets in cities across Sierra Leone to jog and exercise socially—some groups in silent focus, others singing and clapping along the way. But the cultural pastime is now banned, with authorities citing "with dismay" that these groups are joined by... More »

Lego Changes Policy on Using Bricks for Politics

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei can now get his Lego bricks in bulk

(Newser) - Whether it was a genuine change of heart, the #legosforweiwei hashtag, or other public backlash, the Lego Group is now OK sending piles of its famous bricks to the person who's been called "China's most dangerous man." The company had refused to sell in bulk to... More »

India Bans Incendiary Rape Documentary

Leslee Udwin had appealed to PM Narendra Modi against 'kneejerk hysteria'

(Newser) - A rapist's utter lack of remorse provoked no small amount of controversy over a coming documentary, and India swiftly responded today by banning India's Daughter outright, reports the New York Times . India won't "allow any organization to leverage" the 2012 gang rape of a woman on... More »

Pope on Free Speech: Curse My Mom and Get Punched

Francis says free speech has its limits

(Newser) - Freedom of expression has its limits, and those limits include the pope's mama and poking the faith of others. Aboard the papal plane ahead of his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis addressed the Charlie Hebdo attack by way of pointing to the man at his side, saying, "... More »

As Universities Go Global, Free Thought Goes Missing

Jackson Diehl: Campuses in 'unfree' countries hurt student, faculty rights

(Newser) - With Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng accusing NYU of yielding to Beijing , intellectual freedom at US universities is in the spotlight, and Jackson Diehl is concerned. Schools like Yale and NYU are focused on expanding their reach, opening campuses across the globe—including in "unfree countries," he writes in... More »

Author Insults Thai King, Editor Gets 10-Year Sentence

Author has since fled to Cambodia

(Newser) - A Thai magazine editor was today sentenced to 10 years in prison for insulting the king. If that sounds extreme, consider this: Somyot Pruksakasemsuk didn't actually write the insults, he just published them. (The author has since fled to Cambodia.) And they didn't appear in articles of... More »

School Caves, Lets Gay Kid Wear Banned T-Shirt for Day

Maverick Couch can proclaim 'Jesus Is Not a Homophobe'

(Newser) - Maverick Couch fought the man, and the man caved: The 16-year-old gay student, who sued his Ohio school for the right to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with "Jesus Is Not a Homophobe," will be allowed to wear it for a day. But it's a big day: The... More »

Pennsylvania Cops Now Let You Swear All You Want

Cops will no longer issue tickets for naughty words

(Newser) - Say it with me, foul-mouthed Pennsylvanians: Hot damn! It is officially no longer a crime to utter choice four-letter words in the presence of state police. They've agreed to stop citing the public for cursing as part of a settlement yesterday of a federal free-speech lawsuit. That suit stems from... More »

Billboard Links Obama to Jihad

Colo. car dealership wants this opinion heard

(Newser) - A billboard showing President Obama wearing a turban has sparked a lot of attention at the suburban Denver car dealership that put it up. The sign shows a cartoonish Obama and bears the words "PRESIDENT or JIHAD?" Underneath Obama's image is the phrase, "BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PROVE IT!"... More »

Quietly, Censorship Takes Hold in Iraq

(Newser) - When Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, his draconian censorship laws fell with him, and Iraq was flooded with American news, Egyptian soap operas, and Turkish music videos—not to mention pornography and jihadist videos. But now, reports the New York Times, censorship is quietly making a comeback in Iraq,... More »

Anti-Porn Curbs Mask Chinese Crackdown on Dissent

Google blocked as Beijing ramps up Internet controls

(Newser) - The Chinese government ramped up restrictions on Internet use yesterday, sharply curtailing access to medical research on sexual health. It's the latest escalation in what Beijing calls an anti-pornography campaign that will culminate in new filtering software, called the Green Dam, that will be installed on all new computers from... More »

Armenia Attacks Protesters

Country declares emergency rule, kills 1 as rallies rage for 2nd week

(Newser) - Armenian cops fired on a crowd of protesters today and killed at least one as the country declared emergency rule, Reuters reports. Protests have raged daily since a Feb. 19 presidential election that opponents say was rigged for ex-premier Serzh Sarksyan. Police are holding opposition hopeful Levon Ter-Petrosian under house... More »

Dutch Brace for Terror Before Koran Shredding

Right-wing pol vows to air anti-Muslim film

(Newser) - The Dutch government expects violent protests in response to an anti-Muslim film—said to include images of the Koran being shredded—that a right-wing lawmaker has vowed to make public this month. Geert Wilders, one of nine members of an extremist party in the Dutch lower house, aims to expose... More »

Thailand Axes Anti-Monarchy Website

Critical postings, government shutdown may spark legal fight

(Newser) - A Thai ministry has shut down a website critical of the country's monarchy, the AP reports. Postings on questioned news accounts that all citizens mourned the king's sister, who died Wednesday, and criticized officials. "I think we're one of the few sites posting remarks against the monarchy,... More »

Saudis Holding Blogger Critical of Government

Popular scribe detained since Dec. 10, spurring fears of crackdown

(Newser) - The Saudi Arabian government has confirmed that it is holding a prominent blogger for questioning, the New York Times reports today. Fouad al-Farhan, who discussed social issues as one of the few Saudis to blog in Arabic under his real name, was arrested Dec. 10 to be interrogated about “... More »

AT&T Backs Off Controversial Service Terms

Telecom's ToS had forbidden customers from criticizing it

(Newser) - Under an ironic firestorm of criticism for what some termed a First Amendment violation, AT&T has updated its controversial Terms of Service policy to allow users to criticize the telecom giant. The original terms stated that it reserved the right to cancel the account of those who "damaged... More »

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