Portal:Freedom of speech

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The Freedom of speech Portal

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's ideas via speech. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity and incitement to commit a crime.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that "[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".

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Accurate News and Information Act
The Accurate News and Information Act was a statute passed by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Canada, in 1937, at the instigation of William Aberhart's Social Credit government. Aberhart and the Social Credit League had been in a stormy relationship with the press since before the 1935 election, in which they were elected to government. Virtually all of Alberta's newspapers—especially the Calgary Herald—were critical of Social Credit, as were a number of publications from elsewhere in Canada. Even the American media had greeted Aberhart's election with derision. The act would have required newspapers to print "clarifications" of stories that a committee of Social Credit legislators deemed inaccurate. It would also have required them to reveal their sources on demand. Though the act won easy passage through the Social Credit-dominated legislature, Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta John C. Bowen reserved royal assent until the Supreme Court of Canada evaluated the act's legality. In 1938's Reference re Alberta Statutes, the court found that it was unconstitutional, and it was never signed into law.

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Antonio Fontan addressing the Spanish Senate
Credit: International Press Institute

Antonio Fontán (born in 1923) is a journalist who fought for press freedom and was later elected to the Spanish Senate as a member of the Unión de Centro Democrático coalition party in the first democratic general elections in June 1977. He was one of the authors of the Spain's Constitution of 1978, which recognized freedom of expression and freedom of information as fundamental rights. The International Press Institute (IPI) has named him one of the "Heroes of Press Freedom."


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Freeway, recording artist

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Abbie Hoffman
Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale. The group was known collectively as the "Chicago Eight"; when Seale's prosecution was separated from the others, they became known as the Chicago Seven. While the defendants were initially convicted of intent to incite a riot, the verdicts were overturned on appeal. Hoffman came to prominence in the 1960s, and continued practicing his activism in the 1970s, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion of that era.

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Jonathan Zittrain



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Robert H. Jackson


Freedom of speech

Awards: AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and ResponsibilityValeriu Boboc PrizeCPJ International Press Freedom AwardsFour Freedoms AwardGeschwister-Scholl-PreisGwangju Prize for Human RightsHugh M. Hefner First Amendment AwardJames Madison Freedom of Information AwardLeipzig Human Rights AwardMuzzle AwardsNorwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of ExpressionPEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write AwardPEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment AwardPEN/Newman's Own First Amendment AwardSakharov PrizeUNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom PrizeWilliam J. Brennan AwardWorld Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award

Books: Beyond the First AmendmentCyber RightsFree Speech, "The People's Darling Privilege"Freedom of ExpressionNet.wars

Freedom of speech

Free speech activists: Floyd AbramsGuy AldredMichael Gottlieb BircknerSusan BlockBrenda BrathwaiteRoy W. BrownLenny BruceGeorge CarlinHenry CarlisleZechariah ChafeeThe ConfessionalsIda CraddockHossein DerakhshanDavid EsratiJohn Henry FaulkElizabeth Gurley FlynnLarry FlyntHeather FordPim FortuynFree Speech LeagueMike GodwinTheo van Gogh (film director)Emma GoldmanBennett HaseltonHugh HefnerMarjorie HeinsBill HicksAyaan Hirsi AliAbbie HoffmanWilliam HoneZoia HornSaad Eddin IbrahimJoesoef IsakJiang LijunPeter JungerChris KemplingRonald KiddKitty MarionHowie KleinJudith KrugLi Zhi (dissident)Elijah Parish LovejoyDeclan McCullaghJohn McGovern (politician)Aaron McGruderKembrew McLeodIrshad ManjiGeorge W. MavetyAlexander MeiklejohnNicholas MerrillGregorius NekschotPhilip NjaruRashid NugmanovUrsula OwenPu ZhiqiangMarc RandazzaBarney RossetHasan SaltıkMargaret SangerMario SavioTheodore SchroederFariborz ShamshiriShi TaoHoward SternNadine StrossenDavid S. TouretzkyWang XiaoningGrady WardGeert WildersRose WitcopFrank ZappaZhou Shuguang

General: Abusive language (law)Article 14 of the Constitution of SingaporeBirth control movement in the United StatesCartoonists Rights Network, InternationalCensorship by countryFalse statements of factFree speech fightsFree Speech LeagueFree Speech MovementFree Speech Radio NewsFree Speech TVFree speech zoneFreedom of informationFreedom of Speech (painting)Freedom of speech by countryFreedom of speech in the United StatesFreedom of the press in the United StatesInternational Freedom of Expression ExchangeFree speech in the media during the Libyan civil warMarket for loyalties theoryOccupy OaklandSPEECH ActThe Tully Center for Free SpeechWhistleblower

Organizations: Action for Children's TelevisionAmerican Society of Magazine EditorsARTICLE 19Canadian Journalists for Free ExpressionCenter for Media Freedom and ResponsibilityCentral Committee for Ex-MuslimsCentral Council of Ex-MuslimsChilling EffectsComic Book Legal Defense FundComic Legends Legal Defense FundCommittee to Protect JournalistsCroatian Journalists' AssociationCryptoRights Foundationdigitalcourage (formerly FoeBuD) • Doha Centre for Media FreedomElectronic Frontier FoundationElectronic Frontiers GeorgiaFeminists Against CensorshipFirst Amendment CenterFirst Amendment CoalitionFoundation for Press FreedomFree Speech CoalitionFree Speech LeagueFreedom HouseFreedom of the Press (report)Index on CensorshipInter American Press AssociationInternational Center for Law and Religion StudiesInternational Free Press SocietyInternational Freedom of Expression ExchangeInternational Media SupportInternational PENInternational Press InstituteMedia Legal Defence InitiativeNational Coalition Against CensorshipPacifica ForumPress Freedom IndexReporters Without BordersSave the InternetSomali Exiled Journalists Association (SEJA)South East Europe Media OrganisationSoutheast Asian Press AllianceStudent Press Law CenterSwedish Publicists' AssociationTelevision WatchTunisia Monitoring GroupWorld Press Freedom Committee

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