March has been a busy month for CJFE, with both victories and disappointments for free expression in Canada and around the world. Read on to learn about the developments over the past month and how they could affect you.
Free Expression in Canada
An Ontario court has ruled that a VICE News reporter must hand over all communications between him and an ISIS fighter to the RCMP. This ruling sets a dangerous precedent and deals a blow to press freedom in Canada.
The federal government has announced the beginning of a consultation process to improve the Access to Information Act. Meanwhile, Global News' reporter Anna Mehler Paperny tells us about the thousands of redacted pages she received when she made an ATI request regarding Bill C-51.
Coverage of Indigenous communities often focuses on social problems like violence, addiction and poverty. When reporting, if we dwell only on the negative we miss crucial trends concerning both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Smith runs a specialized website that covers the Ontario legislature. She has been denied access by the Queen's Park press gallery for four years. We affirm Smith’s legitimacy as a journalist and request the Press Gallery to grant her full access.
Free Expression Around the World
East Africa: Exiled Journalist Michael Abraha on Press Freedom
Through CJFE’s Journalists in Distress Fund, Abraha received emergency assistance that helped him escape persecution in Kenya and Eritrea. Abraha talks about press freedom in East Africa and the persecution, attacks and fears he has faced as a journalist.
A new U.S. study suggests that the perception of digital surveillance alone is enough to stifle public debate and silence citizens online, particularly dissident voices and minority opinions.
In 2014, an Internet Bill of Rights was enacted in Brazil. The legislation was praised worldwide, but subsequent amendments to the bill revealed the terrible consequences it can have for Internet users.
On March 4, a Turkish court ordered Zaman placed under government control. Police forcibly raided their headquarters to ensure an administrator was installed to manage the oppositional newspapers.
Azerbaijan: Political Prisoners Released!
Human rights defender Rasul Jafarov stepped out from Baku’s Prison Number 10 into freedom on March 17th after spending 593 days unjustly jailed. The same day, the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that his arrest was politically motivated.
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Until next time,
CJFE Promotions and Communications Coordinator