Libertad de expresión

La rencontre, mercredi 15 mai, du président Emmanuel Macron avec la première ministre néo-zélandaise, Jacinda Ardern, et la réunion des ministres du numérique du G7 à Paris doivent déboucher sur l’« appel de Christchurch », un accord visant à mieux lutter contre le terrorisme et les contenus haineux en ligne.

Lors du Forum sur la gouvernance de l’Internet (IGF) en novembre 2018, Emmanuel Macron s’était déjà engagé à responsabiliser les plates-formes du Web. Le débat a été ravivé en mars après l’attaque terroriste de Christchurch, filmée et diffusée en direct sur Facebook. Depuis, les ministres de l’intérieur du G7, réunis les 4 et 5 avril à Paris, s’étaient également montrés favorables à l’autorisation du filtrage des contenus et à l’accès aux communications cryptées à des fins de sécurité.…  Seguir leyendo »

Opposition leader Bobi Wine walks handcuffed together with another prisoner before boarding a bus to prison in Kampala, Uganda, on April 29. (Nicholas Bamulanzeki/AFP/Getty Images)

African governments are cracking down on news media, and their populations might be okay with that.

On May 2, the Ugandan Communications Commission suspended more than 30 journalists from 13 broadcasters. Their crime? They had reported on the trial of pop star — and now member of Parliament and celebrated opposition figure — Bobi Wine. One of the litany of charges Bobi Wine faces is that he organized an illegal rally in July 2018, to protest a new “social media tax.” Many see the tax as an attempt to stifle dissent against President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986.…  Seguir leyendo »

En su edición del 22 de marzo, el semanario esloveno Mladina mostró en su portada una caricatura del Primer Ministro húngaro Viktor Orbán haciendo el saludo nazi mientras lo abrazaban políticos de derechas del Partido Democrático Esloveno (SDS). Y Orbán, cuyos gobiernos han logrado un control casi completo de los medios de comunicación de su país, no se lo tomó a la ligera.

La caricatura se refería a un artículo sobre la decisión del Partido Popular Europeo –un grupo trasnacional de partidos de centroderecha que posee desde 1999 la mayor cantidad de escaños en el Parlamento Europeo- de suspender la membresía del partido Fidesz de Orbán.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante un viaje que hice a Etiopía en los noventa, me reuní con el primer ministro Meles Zenawi para intentar convencerlo de que dejara de encarcelar a periodistas. Unos años antes los guerrilleros de Meles habían derribado una dictadura represiva apoyada por la Unión Soviética, y después de eso aparecieron por doquier pequeños diarios, llenos de entusiasmo (y en algunos casos de inexactitudes), muchos de los cuales atacaban a Meles. Su respuesta fue la represión, con la introducción de leyes que criminalizaban lo que según él eran “insultos” al gobierno, además de multas y cárcel para los periodistas que publicaran datos inexactos.…  Seguir leyendo »

The businessman Chau Chak Wing was awarded nearly $200,000 in a defamation lawsuit against one of Australia's biggest media companies. Credit Peter Rae/Epa-Efe, via Shutterstock

In the decade I spent reporting from China, the most immediate obstacles to journalism were often physical. They took many forms: barricades blocking access to certain places; men in military buzz cuts trailing me; plainclothes thugs stationed in front of the homes of people I planned to interview; and of course, the threat of police detention. In one memorable incident, an official threw himself in front of the car I was riding in with colleagues to delay our departure, precipitating an unseemly shoving match. These physical manifestations of state power were designed to muzzle through intimidation and brute force, occasionally reinforced with threats of visa refusal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una bandera de Nicaragua ondea en Managua en diciembre de 2018. En la base se acumulan pintas antigobierno. CreditMeridith Kohut para The New York Times

A las 23:15 del jueves 13 de diciembre del año pasado, la Policía Nacional tomó por asalto la redacción de Confidencial y Esta Semana, los medios de comunicación que dirijo desde hace más de veinte años. Sin exhibir una orden judicial o el mandato de alguna autoridad, los oficiales armados detuvieron a los guardas de seguridad privada, derribaron las puertas con violencia y durante más de cuatro horas saquearon nuestra redacción. Cuando logré entrar a la oficina en la madrugada del día siguiente, constaté que se habían robado todas las computadoras, equipos de edición y filmación de televisión, así como nuestros documentos institucionales, contables y privados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters gather near a burning tire during a demonstration over the hike in fuel prices in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Jan. 15. (AP)

Last week, Zimbabwe’s High Court ordered Internet operators to restore service to people in the country after access had been shut down for a week. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s officials, aiming to prevent protesters from coordinating their actions and sharing information, ordered the shutdown after mass protests against fuel price hikes — from less than $3 per gallon to almost $12 a gallon — rocked Zimbabwe for weeks. Protesters argued that the shutdown’s goal was to prevent the world from hearing about the violent government crackdown that left at least 12 dead and more than 600 imprisoned.

Zimbabwe was not the first — and surely won’t be the last — country in which an African government shut down the Internet to suppress political dissent, as I’ve found in my ongoing research project tracking such shutdowns.…  Seguir leyendo »

Guardian columnist Owen Jones is confronted by right-wing protesters after attending a demonstration in central London on January 12

Something nasty is happening on the grounds of London’s Palace of Westminster. And I don’t mean the latest horse-trading over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit legislation.

No, the latest crisis to hit Britain’s political culture manifests in a much more tangible form. In recent weeks, an upsurge of «anti-elitist» protest has seen the violent harassment of members of Parliament and commentators while they film interviews outside Parliament. The activity is focused on a public strip of park, known as «College Green,» which lies just a few steps outside the main gates of the Houses of Parliament and is traditionally used for broadcast interviews.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recientemente el debate con respecto a los límites de la libertad de expresión parece haber adoptado nuevas formas y, sobre todo, nuevas figuras retóricas en España. Asistimos a una férrea defensa de que los discursos no deben tener límites, se suceden los artículos que debaten, una y otra vez, sobre la posibilidad de la “corrección” en el discurso como una opción censuradora, se le opone la calidad de obras literarias y artísticas, y se acusa a la “turba” de generar “linchamientos” virtuales. En España los debates vienen fomentados por una más que considerable cantidad de sentencias y acusaciones contra humoristas, músicos y artistas que han visto cercenado su ejercicio de la libertad de expresión en el terreno público.…  Seguir leyendo »

To the left of the altar of St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street is a tableau, a commemoration of journalists who have suffered in the exercise of their duty. That might sound a somewhat portentous way of describing the trade but it has never been more vital or more dangerous. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 34 have been killed so far in 2018 in retaliation for their work, double the previous year.

The montage in the church remembers the courage of journalists over many years. Some murders dominate the headlines, such as that of the Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down in 2006 for revealing too much about the war in Chechnya, or most recently the dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alguien ha llamado cuarto poder a la prensa libre. De seguir esta sugerencia, me vería obligado a desistir de mi tendencia a llamar cuarto poder al constituyente, que evidentemente no coincide con el poder legislativo, porque es anterior y más alto que éste. Sea como fuere, lo que en todo caso resulta indudable es que vivimos en un mundo de informaciones continuadas, múltiples y de signo diverso, lo cual nos sitúa en una etapa única en la historia de la humanidad.

Hace ya tiempo que la prensa tiene la capacidad de apoyar o denostar causas públicas, con el efecto de asegurar su triunfo o fracaso.…  Seguir leyendo »

El viernes salió a la calle el último impreso de El Nacional, único diario independiente de circulación nacional que quedaba en el país. Pero sigue activo en la web. (Fernando Llano/AP)

Llegó en barco y por partes: 11 contenedores y 12 cajas salieron del puerto de Hamburgo, Alemania, el 29 de enero de 2006, y llegaron al puerto de La Guaira, en el caribe venezolano, el 21 de febrero de ese año. Allí venía la Wifag OF7, una rotativa suiza fabricada en 1981 que se apagó el jueves en el diario El Nacional de Caracas.

La máquina –apodada “la güifa” por los empleados del diario– desembarcó en Venezuela el año antes de que el control a los medios de comunicación comenzara a perfilarse como política de Estado. El Nacional intentaba renovarse, pero el fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez acababa de ganar su segundo periodo y presentó, por óprimera vez, su plan del “socialismo del siglo XXI” en el que el respeto a la libertad de expresión sería más un estorbo que un valor.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, alongside Rosario Murillo, the first lady and vice president, in Managua on Nov. 29. (Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

The people in Nicaragua have been struggling since April against the cruel dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and his family. More than 300 people have been killed and more than 500 are political prisoners, according to estimates by the Nicaraguan Center of Human Rights. Each day, the police and paramilitary troops raid cities looking for people to capture and sometimes torture. Peaceful demonstrations are now criminalized, with participants rounded up and accused of being terrorists.

It has been eight months of civic rebellion, 240 days in which all peaceful alternatives for a political resolution have been exhausted. Most citizens are desperately crying for democracy, peace and justice — but Ortega has demonstrated that he does not want to step down and does not want to find a solution to the crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

El ciberespacio mediático, en ocasiones, secuestra y embosca a la audiencia colectiva hacia un fallo prejudicial predispuesto. Hablo, aquí, del juicio paralelo. La implosión de los leaks gestan, al unísono, una infinidad de ficheros justiciables. Y por tanto, también, nutren ese banquillo popular influyendo en pleitos pasados, presentes y futuros. Desde estas líneas, se desnudan los mecanismos inhibitorios de la función jurisdiccional penal ante esas injerencias. Finalmente, se plantea cómo se validan esas disrupciones sin vulnerar una tutela judicial efectiva sin indefensión y el derecho a un proceso con todas las garantías (art. 24.1 y 2 de nuestra Constitución –CE-).

El Cuarto Estado -medios de comunicación clásicos sumados a los tres de Montesquieu- ha sido superado por el Quinto: la web 2.0 y sus apps.…  Seguir leyendo »

How Egypt Crowdsources Censorship

To write in Egypt and about Egypt has long meant being under the scrutiny of an authoritarian state — starting in the 1950s with President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who nationalized the press, and extending to the present. If you didn’t approve of the government’s activities, your only option, you quickly learned, was to be noncommittal.

My first encounter with the red lines of authority was in the early 2000s, as a young writer at a weekly paper in Cairo. One day my editor, a well-respected journalist who stood apart from his submissive state-appointed colleagues for his outspokenness and professional rigor, called me into his office after an editorial meeting.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sí, el partido nacional conservador Ley y Justicia (PiS según sus siglas polacas) considera que los medios de comunicación independientes son el enemigo. El propio primer ministro Mateusz Morawiecki declaró que “el 80% de los medios de comunicación están en manos de opositores políticos al partido Ley y Justicia, que atacan ferozmente al Gobierno”. El presidente Andrzej Duda advirtió que “no es bueno que la gran mayoría de los medios de comunicación de Polonia estén en manos extranjeras”. ¿De qué va todo este asunto? Agora, la propietaria de Gazeta Wyborcza, es una empresa polaca. Pero el portal Onet, que justo antes de las elecciones locales de octubre reveló conversaciones a escondidas muy comprometedoras para el primer ministro Morawiecki, pertenece a la empresa germano-suiza Ringier Axel Springer.…  Seguir leyendo »

KASGHAR CITY, KASHGAR, XINJIANG, CHINA - 2017/07/08: A Uyghur woman walks pass a statue of Mao Zedong in the People's Park in Kashgar city, northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Kashgar is located in the north western part of Xinjiang province where nearly 10 million Muslim Uyghurs are living. It is considered as the crossroads linking China to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, the city has changed under Chinese rule with government development, unofficial Han Chinese settlement to the western province, and restrictions imposed by the Communist Party. The central government of China says it sees Kashgar's development as an improvement to the local economy, but many Uyghurs consider it a threat that is eroding their language, traditions, and cultural identity. The discord has created a separatist movement that has sometimes turned violent, starting a crackdown on what Chinese government see as 'terrorist acts' by religious extremists. Tension has increased with lot more security in the city including restrictions at mosques, after closing and removing most of them in the Xinjiang province, the Chinese authorities have also restricted to the women to wear veils and the young men to grow beards. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Last month, I spent several days at the Forbidden City, the gargantuan palace in the middle of Beijing where China’s emperors ruled the land for nearly five hundred years. I was there to attend a conference on religion and power in imperial China, but my thoughts were drawn to more contemporary concerns: the plight of the Uighurs in China’s far western province of Xinjiang, including re-education camps aimed at breaking their faith in Islam.

I was struck by parallels between contemporary and imperial religious policy at the end of the conference, when our hosts took us to parts of the complex that are off-limits to tourists, such as the Hall of Imperial Peace.…  Seguir leyendo »

A poster in Pakistan depicting Asia Bibi, a Christian whose blasphemy conviction was recently overturned, setting off protests.CreditCreditShahzaib Akber/EPA-EFE, via Rex

The agony of Asia Bibi, a 54-year-old Roman Catholic and mother of five, shows there is something rotten in her country, Pakistan — and in the broader world of Islam.

She was arrested for blasphemy in 2009 after Muslim co-workers on a destitute farm denounced her for merely drinking from the same cup and, during the subsequent quarrel, for “insulting Prophet Muhammad” — a charge Ms. Bibi always denied. Yet she was convicted in 2010 and spent the next eight years in solitary confinement, on death row.

Luckily, Pakistan’s Supreme Court last month saved her from execution, clearing her of the charges and also setting her free.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters demanding a free press at a rally in Budapest in April. Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

If you’re wondering what attacks on the news media around the world mean for the future of democracy, it’s worth a trip to Budapest. Consider it a cautionary-tale vacation.

When I visited Hungary recently, I knew I was entering a waning democracy that’s become increasingly authoritarian. I knew that Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third term in April by convincing voters that a phantasmic combination of Muslim migrants, the Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros and European Union bureaucrats was coming to get them.

But I only understood how Mr. Orban pulled this off when I spoke to Hungarian journalists. They explained that Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of Pakistan’s new religious right protesting the court decision overturning Asia Bibi’s blasphemy conviction, in Lahore on Wednesday. Irfan Chudhary/Barcroft Media, via Getty Images

After spending eight years on death row, Asia Bibi, a Christian, was acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week. For many here it seemed like a good day. The country’s highest court had finally delivered justice and released a woman whose life has already been destroyed by years in solitary confinement. The court decision quoted Islamic scriptures, bits of letters by the Prophet Muhammad and a smattering of Shakespeare. A great wrong was righted.

And that’s why Pakistan’s new religious right, which has rebranded itself as the protector of the Prophet’s honor, has threatened to bring the country to a halt.…  Seguir leyendo »