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Portal:Freedom of speech

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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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The practice of land requisitions and forced evictions is widespread in China as local governments make way for private real estate developers.
The Weiquan movement is a non-centralized group of lawyers, legal experts, and intellectuals in China who seek to protect and defend the civil rights of the citizenry through litigation and legal activism. The movement, which began in the early 2000s, has organized demonstrations, sought reform via the legal system and media, defended victims of human rights abuses, and written appeal letters, despite opposition from Communist Party authorities. Among the issues adopted by Weiquan lawyers are property and housing rights, protection for AIDS victims, environmental damage, religious freedom, freedom of speech and the press, and defending the rights of other lawyers facing disbarment or imprisonment. Individuals involved in the Weiquan movement have met with occasionally harsh reprisals from Chinese officials, including disbarment, detention, harassment, and, in extreme instances, torture. Authorities have also responded to the movement with the launch of an education campaign on the "socialist concept of rule of law," which reasserts the role of the Communist Party and the primacy of political considerations in the legal profession, and with the Three Supremes, which entrenches the supremacy of the Communist Party in the judicial process.

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James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
Credit: White House photo by Eric Draper

The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room is a small theater in the West Wing of the White House where the White House Press Secretary gives daily briefings to the news media and the President of the United States sometimes addresses the press and the American nation. It is located between the workspace assigned to the White House Press Corps and the office of the Press Secretary.


  • February 10: Pakistan court sentences one man to death penalty, and life imprisonment to five others for Mashal Khan lynching incident
  • February 9: Poet, lyricist, and digital activist John Perry Barlow dies, aged 70
  • August 14: Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation announce Bassel Khartabil Free Culture fellowship following execution of open culture activist
  • December 13: Detained journalist Mohamed Tamalt dies in Algeria
  • October 29: Pakistani PM removes Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid
Freedom of speech on Wikinews

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Jerrold Nadler

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Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided as an advocate of politically-motivated murder and violent revolution by her critics. Born in the province of Kaunas, Lithuania she moved with her sister Helena to Rochester, New York in the United States at the age of sixteen. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket Riot, Goldman was trained by Johann Most in public speaking and became a renowned lecturer, attracting crowds of thousands. The writer and anarchist Alexander Berkman became her lover, lifelong intimate friend and comrade. Together they planned to assassinate Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Though Frick survived, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. In 1917 Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested – with hundreds of others – and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman quickly voiced her opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. Eventually she traveled to Spain to participate in that nation's civil war. She died in Toronto on 14 May 1940.

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Bob Woodward



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Louis Brandeis


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 Movement • Free Speech Radio News • Free 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 GeorgiaEuropean Centre for Press and Media FreedomFeminists 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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