CJFE Newsletter: July 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dear CJFE members and supporters,

Big news this month! CJFE and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) have launched a Charter challenge against Bill C-51, arguing that key sections of the law are unconstitutional and must be struck down. To support this vital fight, please donate to the crowdfunding campaign and share on social media using #C51onTrial. And in other big news—at long last, it’s almost here. The verdict in the drawn-out trial of Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste (in absentia) will be delivered tomorrow, July 30. Keep an eye on our #FreeAJstaff updates to find out the judge’s decision in the fraught trial, and catch up on the developments in the case up until now.

Free expression in Canada

  • Free expression is slipping away: With muzzling of scientists, barriers to information, increased surveillance, decreased privacy and dangerous legislation like Bill C-51, CJFE President Alice Klein implores us to stand up for our free expression rights.
  • Student newspaper threatened with eviction: CJFE, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and the Canadian University Press (CUP) raise concern about the potential curbing of a free press at the University of Waterloo.
  • Does media ownership matter?: Canada’s traditional media are in relatively few hands. Grant Buckler examines editorial integrity, owner interference in coverage and the role of online alternatives in Canada's media ownership landscape.
  • Restoring Canadians' privacy rights: OpenMedia released a new online video turning the crowdsourced data on what Canadians want in a privacy plan into a clear path forward to address Canada’s privacy deficit.
  • Free expression in the news: Check out CJFE's continuously updated news feed of media articles about free expression issues from across Canada.

Free expression around the world

  • Fighting for free expression abroad: Around the world, journalists are being targeted in unprecedented ways, from kidnappings to cyber-attacks and even public killings. Read about the important work of four Canadian journalists who are fighting for free expression abroad.
  • Bahrain: Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was pardoned and released after serving four months of a six-month sentence stemming from a critical tweet. Now Bahrain needs to free all remaining imprisoned HRDs.
  • China: Well-known dissident Ai Weiwei had his passport returned by the Chinese government, but a disturbing crackdown on activists and human rights defenders in the country continues.
  • Egypt: A new anti-terrorism law has disturbing implications for the future of press freedom–criminalizing 25 offences, 12 of which are punishable by death, for deviating from the official government narrative in terrorism cases.
  • Hong Kong: The Legislative Council of Hong Kong rejected a Beijing-backed electoral reform proposal after widespread demonstrations from civil society activists and concerned citizens.
  • Iran: Iran’s largest opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), struggles to regain its press freedoms and right to free expression after their former terrorist designation was reversed worldwide.
  • Jordan: At least four journalists have been detained this year using the country’s counterterrorism law, and gag orders are increasingly being used to silence journalists.
  • Syria: Human rights defenders Hussein Gharir and Hani Al-Zitani were finally released from prison but their colleague Mazen Darwish remains behind bars,and all three still face charges under Syria’s anti-terrorism law.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful month!


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