CJFE regularly sends letters of concern to authorities in countries around the world - including Canada - where free expression violations have occurred and which warrant particular attention on behalf of CJFE and other like-minded groups. Click on the links below to view the alerts we have released. Alerts do make a difference - and, in some cases, can save lives of imperiled journalists. If you wish to write alerts in support of press freedom around the world, we have some tips and instructions, or contact us at cjfe [at] cjfe.org for further enquiries.
CJFE is concerned by the decision which the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) made in late 2017 to shutter an art installation at the new Pioneer Village station. Purchasing the installation cost the TTC $500,000. The project is entitled ‘Lightspell’ and was originally commissioned in 2009 and was developed as part of the Spadina subway extension by artists Tim and Jan Edler, who are based in Germany. The official reason for the TTC decision was cited as the potential for ‘hate speech’ resulting from the installation’s design. CJFE was recently informed by Jan Edler that the TTC omitted Lightspell from its January 18, 2018 Board meeting agenda. Read more
CJFE is gravely concerned by the escalating death toll and mass arrests reported at pro-democracy protests in Iran. The demonstrations began in the final weeks of 2017 and are rooted in outrage over questions of economic stagnation, democratic representation, wealth and power inequality, the rights of women and Iran’s foreign policy. We believe that Canada has a crucial role to play in this situation and that the government of Canada must work to promote an end to the crackdown while promoting free expression and democracy through all available diplomatic channels. Read more
The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a landmark case for press freedom in Canada. VICE News successfully sought leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that VICE News reporter Ben Makuch must hand over all communications between him and an ISIS fighter to the RCMP. By agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court of Canada will have the opportunity to overturn a dangerous precedent and ensure that press freedom and the integrity of journalism in Canada are protected. Read more
CJFE is deeply concerned by the Liberal government’s stated plan to introduce back-to-work legislation during a special weekend session of the Provincial Legislature. We encourage the government to consider the constitutional rights of workers, including impacts to the right to free association and expression that would come from the implementation of this law. Read more
CJFE is deeply concerned by an administrative inquiry being conducted by Toronto Ward 10 Councillor James Pasternak. According to a report from CTV, Pasternak has asked the deputy city manager to assess the feasibility of banning ‘hate-sponsored’ rallies from city property. Some proposed remedies include the power to issue trespass orders, fine for extra police services or possibly to freeze bank accounts. Pasternak’s inquiry will be presented to the city’s executive committee before it is debated. Read more
October 23, 2017, OTTAWA—Over 40 prominent civil society organizations, elected officials, university professors and professionals have sent letters in support of human rights activist Chelsea Manning, who was recently turned away at the Canadian border. The letters are united in their call to reverse the government’s decision to bar Ms. Manning from Canada, and were submitted by her legal counsel as part of a formal request for reconsideration to the Hon. Minister Ahmed Hussen on Friday morning. Read more
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