April 2016 Newsletter

Saturday, April 30, 2016
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We have a lot of news this April. There were some positive developments for free expression in Canada this month, but some horrible tragedies that we are sad to report around the world. Read on to hear about it all, and learn more about what you can do to help.

CJFE Review to launch on World Press Freedom Day!

Tuesday, May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day. To celebrate, we will be releasing our 2016 Review of Free Expression in Canada, the only publication of its kind. CJFE's signature Report Card grades Canada's new government on its performance upholding our free expression rights, while the annual poll shows Canadians' perceptions of free expression issues over the past year, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the quality of information in the news, and the debate between privacy and national security.

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Free Expression in Canada

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CJFE sends independent Monitor to Montreal protests

Following the many cases of questionable behavior by police officers towards journalists in Quebec, CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer acted as a monitor at the May Day protests in Montreal this weekend to document interactions between police and journalists. Stay tuned!

Canada drops 10 spots on Press Freedom Index after “dark age for journalism”

A new report from Reporters Without Borders has Canada falling ten spots in global press freedom rankings, and describes the tenure of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a “dark age” for journalism in Canada, citing his hermetically-sealed style of government and the shameful state of our access to information system.

Privacy Committee Needs to Strengthen Canada's Weak Privacy Protection Legislation

A parliamentary review of Canada's antiquated Privacy Act is underway. Just how do you combat widespread sharing of and access to personal data, mitigate against “big data” mining, and restrict data profiling?

Information Commissioners pledge to improve ATI

Information commissioners from all 10 provinces, the three northern territories and the federal Office of the Information Commissioner came together to propose the creation of a legislated duty to document that would apply to all public entities.

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Free Expression Around the World

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Tragedy in Bangladesh

This month has seen an appalling litany of attacks against members of Bangladeshi civil society. In April alone at least four people were murdered because of the words they wrote and the opinions they expressed. Others have been thrown in prison. We would like to take a moment to recognize to the individuals lost in Bangladesh this month:

CJFE discusses press freedom with Croatian PM’s office

In response to a recent government crackdown on free media in Croatia, CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer spoke at an emergency conference on press freedom and media censorship and met with the Prime Minister's office in Croatia. Stay tuned for updates from this very promising meeting!

NGOs intervene for imprisoned journalist Khadija Ismayilova

CJFE has joined a coalition of 14 free expression and press freedom organizations in submitting an intervention in the case of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Thanks for reading, and for your continued support of CJFE!

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