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November 29 2012

surveyork
21:07

On December 3rd, the world’s governments will meet to update a key treaty of a UN agency called the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Some governments are proposing to extend ITU authority to Internet governance in ways that could threaten Internet openness and innovation, increase access costs, and erode human rights online.
We call on civil society organizations and citizens of all nations to sign the following Statement to Protect Global Internet Freedom:

 

Internet governance decisions should be made in a transparent manner with genuine multistakeholder participation from civil society, governments, and the private sector. We call on the ITU and its member states to embrace transparency and reject any proposals that might expand ITU authority to areas of Internet governance that threaten the exercise of human rights online.

Protect Global Internet Freedom | Protect Global Internet Freedom

November 01 2012

surveyork
03:32
In an interview with viEUws, the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, affirms that Europe wants to close the Canadian-European Trade Agreement (CETA) by the end of this year—which would have been today, since the European calendar year ends on October 31.1 CETA is a trade agreement designed to strengthen economic ties between Canada and the EU through “free” trade and increased investment. However, hidden within this treaty are intellectual property provisions that were essentially taken word-for-word from ACTA. And just like its close cousins, ACTA, KORUS, and TPP—and other trade agreements that are applauded by the entertainment industry for carrying expansive intellectual property provisions—CETA is being negotiated in secret.
surveyork
02:02

Cairo: Egypt’s Shiites have lashed out at a local film, which they say is disrespectful to the daughter and grandchildren of the Prophet Mohammad.

“The Egyptian Shittes are considering legal action against the film and will request it be banned for insulting the people of the Prophet’s House,” said Baha Anwar, the spokesman for the Shiite minority in the predominantly Sunni country.

A controversial scene in the recently released film titled Abdou Muta (Abdou, the Deadly Man), shows the famed belly dancer performing at a folk fiesta to a tune referring to the Prophet’s daughter Fatima and her two sons, who are venerated by Shiites.

October 27 2012

surveyork
15:56
The US Administration has the legislation (National Defense Authorization Act) in place to allow it to seek the extradition and indefinite detention of anyone in the world it perceives to be acting against US interests, or is reporting on or revealing information against US interests, or is regarded as an ‘enemy of the state’, or is a supporter of an ‘enemy of the state’. It could be applied, for example, against Wikileaks supporters/organisers, or citizen or mainstream journalists, or political dissidents generally. Or you. And if you are not a US citizen you could be subject to extradition proceedings and held on an offshore facility – e.g. Guantanamo.

October 23 2012

surveyork
12:23

October 21 2012

surveyork
00:06

October 18 2012

surveyork
23:28
Along with two others in the Pacific Northwest, Plante was remanded into federal custody for her refusal to provide a grand jury testimony regarding activists in the region. Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejnik were jailed in previous weeks for, like Plante, refusing to cooperate with a grand jury. All three are now being held in U.S. federal prison, not because they are being punished for crime, but, as the National Lawyers Guild’s executive director Heidi Boghosian told me earlier this year, “to coerce cooperation.”

October 17 2012

surveyork
21:43

October 12 2012

surveyork
09:35
Karachi: A mob, led by Islamic clerics, ransacked the house of a teenage Christian boy in Pakistan's port-city Karachi and set fire to furniture after he was accused of sending text messages with blasphemous content, a media report said on Thursday.
Teen boy in Pakistan accused of blasphemy via text messages | NDTV.com

October 11 2012

surveyork
07:50

September 30 2012

surveyork
21:25
AMRITSAR, India -- Hundreds of angry Muslims in southeast Bangladesh torched at least 10 Buddhist temples and dozens of homes Sunday after alleging that a Buddhist man insulted Islam on his Facebook page, authorities said.
surveyork
01:28
Multiple incidents over the last twelve months have underscored the appalling lack of freedom in many countries to express even the blandest criticism of either religion in general or the dominant religion in a particular country. To name just some examples, there are the cases involving Rimsha Masih, Hamza Kashgari, Alexander Aan, Sanal Edamaruku, Hamad al-Naqi, Pussy Riot, and Alber Saber.

September 26 2012

surveyork
14:59

The current effort by a group of Islamic nations, led by Turkey, to get the UN to ban blasphemy worldwide, is a threat to civil liberties and would be a major step backwards in promoting freedom and peace on our planet. It would put normal, reasonable people who simply want to speak their minds and discuss issues, at the mercy of the most extreme elements from any corner of the planet. It would stifle any debate about the role of religion in public life.

Such a resolution would contravene the UN's own Universal Charter of Human Rights; Article 19 states the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It also is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, and could not be implemented in the U.S.A.

Anti-blasphemy laws are a favorite tool of repressive regimes, precisely because blasphemy can be anything they say it is, even after the fact. It's bad enough when they do it in their own countries. To suggest that an imam in Libya has even the vaguest suggestion of a right to control what someone in Michigan says, is an outrage and a travesty. The supporters of such laws should consider that they would also be subjecting their own rights of speech to the control of the most radical Christian elements. Advocates of censorship assume the censors will always be people like themselves. But once the ability to censor is established, the most ruthless and power-hungry people always seek to wield that authority.

Nobody has the right to not be offended. Being offended is state of mind, and nobody can predict what comment someone somewhere in the world would deem as being against their religion. Provocation is also an interior state; if someone is provoked to violence by another's words, the one who committed violence is more at fault. Passing such a resolution would legitimize violence and impair efforts to reach reasonable accommodation through debate.

Petition | United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Don't try to curtail free speech worldwide | Change.org

September 25 2012

surveyork
20:35
Human rights are not about protecting religions; human rights are to protect humans,” she said. “Who is going to be the decision-maker on deciding what blasphemy is?”

September 21 2012

surveyork
10:18
The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. No apologies necessary. Muslims must learn that if they make belligerent and fanatical claims upon the tolerance of free societies, they will meet the limits of that tolerance.

August 29 2012

surveyork
03:10
Critics say controversial laws are ripe for misuse and abuse, with accusations often stemming from personal disputes.

August 18 2012

surveyork
16:14
ISLAMABAD: An 11-eleven-year old Christian girl was accused of blasphemy and arrested for allegedly burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran.

July 17 2012

surveyork
13:31
A Rhode Island police officer who kicked a handcuffed woman in the head got off with probation and a 10-year suspended sentence. Though he was convicted of felony battery, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, Krawetz will spend no time at all in prison. And it will take a special hearing to remove him from the force.

July 13 2012

surveyork
10:17

July 07 2012

surveyork
17:40
Graphic Video: Muslims Slaughter Convert to Christianity in Tunisia :: Middle East Forum

Liberal talk show host Tawfiq Okasha recently appeared on "Egypt Today" airing a video of Muslims slicing a young man's head off for the crime of apostasy, in this case, the crime of converting to Christianity and refusing to renounce it. The video—be warned, it is immensely graphic—is embedded here (the actual execution appears from minute 1:13-4:00).
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