Designers need to pay attention to the architecture of theatres as possible political spaces, argues Richard Sennett.
Helen Haft explains how the Orthodox Church has eroded freedom of the media and lobbied for the 2013 law against offending religious feelings.
Iginio Gagliardone explores the surprising technopolitics of two competing visions of the internet, US and Chinese, in Ethiopia.
Boycotts betray free enquiry, but Viktor Orbán’s moves against the Central European University at least make them worth debating, says Eric Heinze
Avi Shlaim explores whether there was anything Obama could have done to salvage his reputation in the remaining weeks of his lame-duck presidency.
Avi Shlaim explores the quality of debate within British politics of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and argues that an anti-racist movement has been portrayed as a racist one.
Udit Bhatia discusses a landmark ruling concerning the conduct of elections and its potential to stifle democratic debate.
Tony Koutsoumbos explores the lessons from his own experiences in building an environment of robust and strong public debate.
Nicholas McGeehan explores restrictions on free speech and protest in the Arab Gulf states and the foreign policy responsibilities of Western governments.
Sara Khorshid reports from a panel discussion that brought together former hate preachers, feminists and ordinary Arab youth to debate the limits of free speech in the new Middle East.
Kerem Öktem describes the dramatic deterioration of Turkey’s media landscape after the attempted coup of July 2016.
Noam Chomsky talks about Edward Snowden, laws regulating historical memory, no-platforming, internet echo chambers and the lack of diversity in the American media.
A transcript of our conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who spoke to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi talks to Free Speech Debate about her book Until We Are Free and the state of free speech and human rights activism in Iran.
Jonathan Leader Maynard examines the difficulties in assessing and managing the role of speech in violence.
Looking at the long sweep of the AKP’s rule, Kerem Öktem shows how the window of free speech in Turkey has closed.
Julian Simmons examines a Singaporean’s expletive-laden video on the recently deceased leader and his conviction for wounding religious feelings.
Maryhen Jiménez Morales explores how leftist political leaders in Latin America have limited free speech in their countries through populist discourse and political propaganda.
Maja Sojref examines how a law on the prevention of harm to the State of Israel exposes the tension between freedom of expression and national security.
Declan Johnston explores whether regulatory requirements for Ireland’s broadcasters worked well in its referendum on same-sex marriage.
Tore Slaatta investigates Norwegian artists’ views on their freedom of expression in contemporary society.
Vanya Bhargav explains the battle behind the Indian government’s ban on a BBC documentary about a notorious gang rape.
Jason Q Ng traces the path of a censored Weibo post and tracks keywords that trigger automatic review.
John Lloyd explores the history and weakness of Western media coverage, and suggests one way it could be improved.
Hartosh Bal explains the role of the new Freedom Trust in the context of India’s media environment, and how they hope to defend freedom of expression.
25 years after the fatwa and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Salman Rushdie discusses with Timothy Garton Ash whether there is now more or less freedom of expression in Europe, worrying developments in India and his critical view of Edward Snowden.
Alain Bouldoires talks to Timothy Garton Ash about the survival of blasphemy laws in Europe, and calls for a ‘right to blaspheme’.
In 2014, the citizens of Hong Kong staged an unofficial civil referendum in protest against the Beijing authorities’ attempts to undermine its independence. As Rebecca Wong reports, the majority of the votes were cast via a voting app on mobile phones.
In a bid to synchronise hate crimes, the EU is seeking unity amongst members states against the denial of historical injustices. Is this the EU versus member states’ appreciation of intellectual freedom? Luigi Cajani explains.
A British citizen blogged about a Tanzanian media magnate involved in throwing her and her husband off their Tanzanian farm. He sued for libel in a British court. Dominic Burbidge explains.
Robert Coalson looks at how Russian television depicts everything from the crisis in Ukraine to the war in Syria.
Anthony Lester and Zoe McCallum look at how the ghost of the English Court of the Star Chamber has been used to suppress free speech.
Samson Yuen and Kitty Ho argue that the stabbing of a former Hong Kong news editor is a symptom of a broader squeeze on the city’s freedoms.
Free speech scholar Eric Heinze identifies the main arguments for laws restricting hate speech and says none are valid for mature Western democracies.
Cherian George on how hate speech is gaining virulence in Asian countries such as Myanmar, and how peace-building workshops represent a positive step forward.
Shi Yige examines different approaches to censorship in China, and argues that while internet controls might avail the leadership in the short term, they are unsustainable.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces a translation of our ten principles into Catalan and a reflection on having Catalan as your native language.
Pere Vilanova reflects on his personal experience of learning his ‘native’ tongue – as a third language.
Katherine Bruce-Lockhart looks at the media’s role in two Kenyan elections and argues that peace and critical media coverage should not be mutually exclusive.
Nazi past? Stasi past? Sebastian Huempfer challenges the conventional explanations for Germany’s strong reaction to Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA snooping.
Middle East specialist Rory McCarthy examines the role of Islamist movement Ennahdha in shaping, and constraining, freedom of speech in Tunisia after the Arab Spring.
At the 2013 Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Burmese writers including Pascal Khoo Thwe and blogpoet Pandora talk about George Orwell in the country where he was once an imperial policeman.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington must be the beginning of the discussion of race, not the end. Bassam Gergi discusses why the depoliticisation of race in the US is problematic and only open debate can lead to progress.
Political theorist Rob Reich discusses what adaptations we need as freedom of speech and association move increasingly from the offline to the online world. Can the old principles still apply in new circumstances?
The Nigerian government is rumoured to have sealed a $40m dollar contract for internet surveillance technology. There is no clear justification for this “secret” deal, and no assurance that the technology would be used fairly, given Nigeria’s lack of established rights for citizen privacy. By Nwachukwu Egbunike and Dominic Burbidge.
Famous Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner says he thinks Russia really has no concept of free speech. Oh, but there’s one place where you do have complete freedom of expression.
Kerem Oktem, in Istanbul, reflects on the pernicious influence of the government and business interests on Turkish broadcasters.
Stephen Meili examines the contrasting UK and US treatment of people who refuse to declare a political allegiance.
Protests held by far right groups in ethnically diverse areas are provocation, but banning them can have undesired effects. Josh Black looks at a ban on the English Defence League in East London.
In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling that, to merit conviction, the violence advocated must be intended, likely and imminent. By Jeff Howard.
Timothy Garton Ash delivers the Orwell Lecture at an unprecedented literary festival in Rangoon. He talks about three Orwells and three Burmas.
The relationship between writers and the state is complex, multifaceted and changing. At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 a panel of experts explores some of the issues faced by writers around the world.
The Chinese Communist Party aims to control privately owned media without appearing to do so. A strike at a local newspaper imperils that balance, writes Liu Jin.
In a panel John Lloyd, T.R. Andhyarujina, Harish Salve and Daya Thussu discussed whether self-regulation can continue to remain a viable way forward for the Indian media.
On 17 December 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself – and began the Arab spring. Despite Islamist pressures on free speech and women’s rights, Rory McCarthy sees continued cause for hope.
Despite Brazil’s democratic accomplishments, laws used to regulate websites date from the 1960s, giving arbitrary power to the state. A proposed ‘Marco Civil da Internet’ has the capacity to change this, writes Marcos Todeschini.
Type ‘Bettina Wulff’, the name of a former German president’s wife, into Google and the autocomplete function will add ‘escort’. Is this algorithmic addition a form of defamation? Sebastian Huempfer explores the case.
Russian social network VK launched six years ago and has since attracted 122 million users. But as Olga Shvarova explains, political and copyright crackdowns are limiting the free flow of information and ideas its users once enjoyed.
A new report shows only 12% of US election coverage on the abortion debate quotes women. Judith Bruhn explores why this under-representation of women’s voices is undermining women’s freedom of speech.
If a decade of stalled attempts to enact Zambia’s Freedom of Information bill seems comical, there is underlying tragedy in how politicians have fallen short of their free speech rhetoric, writes Dominic Burbidge.
Historian Khaled Fahmy describes how historic Egyptian books are more easily found in Western than in Egyptian libraries – and how a scholarly history of the Middle East was recently banned from entering Egypt.
Manav Bhushan, an Indian member of the Free Speech Debate team, makes the case for blocking hate-filled websites in his country.
Author Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that sometimes emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Claus Leggewie and Horst Meier explain why memory laws are the wrong way for Europeans to remember and debate their difficult pasts.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom. Interview by Judith Bruhn.
A South Korean photographer explains his ordeal in holding an exhibition in Japan that documents ageing ‘Comfort Women’, writes Lee Yoo Eun.
A panel of experts joins FSD Director Timothy Garton Ash at London’s Frontline Club to discuss some of the world’s most pressing free speech issues.
Writer Maureen Freely talks about the sustained hate campaign in Turkey against the author and Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk.
Ukrainian cultural journals have become the target of “raiders” – shady groups working on behalf of powerful interests who use bogus property claims to close down businesses, says Mykola Riabchuk.
Amy O’Donnell explains how she’s using text messages to help African radio stations engage their listeners on important political issues.
EU member states should reform the data protection framework to address the realities of life in the Web 2.0 age, writes David Erdos
History is a sensitive issue in China with some of it desperately remembered and some, deliberately forgotten, writes Judith Bruhn.
Restrictions on hate speech are not a means of tackling bigotry but of rebranding often obnoxious ideas or arguments are immoral, argues writer Kenan Malik.
Killer Anders Behring Breivik’s testimony should be broadcast live to deter extremism, argues Anne Ardem, executive editor at Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.
The director of civil liberties group Liberty calls for a review of all speech crime legislation in the UK.
From communism to Kurdish separatism, the Turkish state has used a series of pretexts to deny freedom of expression to its citizens, says journalist Hasan Cemal.
Online censorship is futile as it can almost always be circumvented, says Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency.
The professor of political science says that while new technologies offer opportunities, they also lead to political and social polarisation.
The Turkish government has proposed a bill that will suspend all media offences committed before December 2011. But will the draft law actually improve press freedom, asks Funda Ustek.
Deposed president Mohamed Nasheed will always be remembered as the man who brought free speech to the Maldives, writes Maryam Omidi.