Free Speech

On the Brink of Extinction in Russia

Anna Bacciarelli | Posted 16.04.2014 | UK Politics
Anna Bacciarelli

With rights groups shut down, opposition activists shut away and those attending public gatherings and protests potentially criminalised, Putin's government is overseeing a human rights dark age for Russians - no matter what message their placard bears.

On Being Called A Nazi

Jemma Wayne | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Politics
Jemma Wayne

It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...

Clampdown on Free Speech in Russia Might Be Temporary

Marina Kim | Posted 18.03.2014 | UK
Marina Kim

When the fuss about Crimea dies down, the grip on the freedom of speech must lessen, and the self-imposed iron curtain must go up. I might be in the minority but I am optimistic that it is going to happen.

Happy 25th Birthday World Wide Web - Let's Not Destroy It

Mike Harris | Posted 12.03.2014 | UK Politics
Mike Harris

It was British ingenuity that led to the development of the World Wide Wide 25 years ago today and unfortunately it appears British guile will be responsible for its possible demise. The hopeful beginnings of the Web have turned sour.

The Maajid Nawaz Controversy - Rights, Democracy and Cartoons

Liam Deacon | Posted 10.03.2014 | UK Politics
Liam Deacon

The debate over group rights is contested, but what shouldn't be, is the fact that calling for instant and somewhat arbitrary retributive action against a single MP candidate, who has exercised a right afforded to everyone else, just isn't a convincing way to invite this debate into the public domain. Neither is it just or democratic.

Winston Churchill, Putin's Russia and Ukraine: Timeless Lessons from the 'Iron Curtain Speech' 68 Years On

Philip White | Posted 06.03.2014 | UK Politics
Philip White

Can a speech made by a former Prime Minister 68 years ago still be relevant today? When we're talking about Winston Churchill's Sinews of Peace address (aka 'the Iron Curtain speech'), the answer is a resounding "yes."

Why Is Free Speech Not Good Enough for Northern Ireland?

Mike Harris | Posted 23.02.2014 | UK Politics
Mike Harris

Very few know why the Defamation Bill does not apply to Northern Ireland, an outrageous decision that has created a gaping loophole in the government's attempts to reform the UK's libel laws.

Free-Speech Jihadis and Their Defence of Maajid Nawaz

Salman Butt | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Politics
Salman Butt

Over the last few weeks I've noticed an uncanny resemblance between the caricature flag-burning, blasphemer-threatening, riotous Muslims in the Middle-East, and some (perhaps equally intelligent) so-called 'liberal' tweeters, commentators and presenters in the UK...

I'm a Cartoonist, It's My Job to Be Offensive

Brian John Spencer | Posted 06.04.2014 | UK Politics
Brian John Spencer

Words and cartoons are incredible instruments, part wand, part weapon, and they should be free to do what they do best.

The Limits of Free Speech on Campus

Jonathan Hunter | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Jonathan Hunter

No-platform policies are not a form of Orewellian censorship - they are a reasonable concept encouraging self-regulation. Rather than 'banning' individuals outright, we as students must place significant pressure on the relevant authorities to withhold the right of certain individuals to speak at certain times on campus.

Maajid Nawaz Will Not Be Dropped As Lib Dem Candidate, Says Nick Clegg

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 30.01.2014 | UK Politics

Nick Clegg has said Maajid Nawaz will not be dropped as a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, amid a row over whether he was wrong to tweet a link to a c...

Censorship on Channel 4 News; An Open Letter to the Editor From the National Secular Society

Stephen Evans | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK
Stephen Evans

We were surprised and extremely disappointed to see that Channel 4 News took the decision to cover up the image of Mohammed when showing the Jesus & Mo cartoon, and we are thus keen to elicit the rationale behind that particular editorial decision.

Religious Freedom Needs Free Speech

John Sargeant | Posted 28.03.2014 | UK
John Sargeant

A t-shirt is not usually newsworthy. When it depicts The Prophet Mohammed saying "How ya doing?" from the Jesus and Mo cartoon it has legs. When the story has intrigue, personal rivalry, politics and religion thrown in it runs and runs.

The Top Ten Ukip Arguments (And Why They Are False)

Kieran Turner-Dave | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK Politics
Kieran Turner-Dave

Immigrants are not a strain on the public sector, austerity is. Moreover, if Ukip truly believe that "Britain is full", should the party be urging its members to stop procreating? Same-sex relationships would surely be far more patriotic?

Chinese Police Wrestle CNN And BBC Reporters Outside Trial Of Activist

The Huffington Post UK | Jessica Elgot | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK

CNN has been blocked in China after cameras captured police "kicking, punching and pushing" a reporter who was covering the trial of a human rights ac...

The Nasty Party: Israel's Nazi Name-Calling Law and Its Benefits to Free Speech

Gabriel Webber | Posted 22.03.2014 | UK Politics
Gabriel Webber

Anything that forces people to think twice before resorting to the laziest, least free form of 'free' speech that is the default knee-jerk Nazi comparison has to be a positive innovation. A properly-legislated version of Godwin's Law would only give more power to humanity's exercise of freedom of expression.

The 'Enemy Within': A Gay Russian Writer Talks about Homophobia and Libel under Putin

Cathal Sheerin | Posted 17.03.2014 | UK Politics
Cathal Sheerin

In times of crisis, Russia hunts for the enemy within; that's what Sergey Khazov tells me when I ask him why there is so much anti-gay sentiment in his country.

Out in the Cold: Russia and the Sochi Winter Games

Cathal Sheerin | Posted 13.03.2014 | UK Politics
Cathal Sheerin

By signing so much dissent-strangling legislation, by playing to the most reactionary elements in Russian society, by crushing popular protest and by harassing civil society, Putin is dragging Russia away from its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to respect freedom of opinion and expression.

Is the Concept of Free Speech in Crisis?

Simon Stevens | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Stevens

I believe 'free speech' is not just the act of allowing someone to say what they believe, so long as it is in a manner that is not personally abusive, but also the way to have the active respected and challenged in a manner that is not abusive.

Sun-Block: Students' Unions Have No Business in Censoring Newspapers

Robert DG Smith | Posted 01.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Robert DG Smith

It should be noted that SU's have only 'banned' The Sun to the extent that their shops will no longer stock the newspaper. The world will not cave-in because a minuscule number of people have to find a local off-licence for their daily fix instead. But it is part of a wider trend: 2013 has seen a wave of trivial, but worrying, censorship encroach on student-life.

Pussy Riot Will Soon Be Free... Speech in Russia Will Not

Cathal Sheerin | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK Politics
Cathal Sheerin

Whilst the amnesty granted to the two imprisoned members of Pussy Riot - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Mariya Alekhina - is to be welcomed, we must view it for what it is: a political stunt by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Are Young People Bothered With Politics?

Tina Daheley | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Politics
Tina Daheley

Whether you agreed or disagreed with Brand's call-for-a-revolution speech, the point I'm making is this - young people DO care about politics. Brand's anti-politics rant struck a chord with young people because he echoed the underlying feeling of a generation frustrated with a political system that they feel 'doesn't represent or care about them'. But that doesn't mean they don't care...

I Know I'm an Annoying Nuisance, But Should It Be a Crime?

Mike Judge | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Mike Judge

You might also think I'm a bit of a nuisance. But surely annoyance and nuisance isn't a police matter. Well, it's about to be. The Government is introducing a sweeping new anti-social behaviour law, with a very low threshold indeed. It's one of those threats to free speech which unites fierce opponents (even you and me).

Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot and Gays in Putin's Russia

Cathal Sheerin | Posted 27.10.2013 | UK Politics
Cathal Sheerin

Russia's recent anti-gay 'propaganda' law has been hitting the headlines around the world, but it's only one of a number of laws that have placed a ch...

Book Review: You Can't Read This Book by Nick Cohen

Robert Bradley | Posted 25.10.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Robert Bradley

Nick's book is perhaps one of the best I've read all year. Inside you'll find his research will both disgust and enlighten; you might even cry, you may throw up, but you certainly won't be cheerful. Cohen has successfully lifted the veil on the myth of free speech and as a result, he's perfectly revealed all the mendacity of those that claim we have it.