Report into Fruit Juice Industry Lands Blogger in Court
Blogger and British rights activist, Andy Hall, has been charged with criminal defamation, and offences under the Computer Crimes Act. Hall, facing a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, has investigated the fruit juice industry in Thailand and published a report which details alleged abuses of migrant workers committed by the Natural Fruit Company Limited. The report, published by Finnwatch in 2013, reportedly details interviews with migrants who suffered labour rights abuses, from poor working conditions to child labour. Natural Fruit has denied the allegations. more
PEN ISSUES: ‘TOP WRITERS’ RADIO SHOW
‘Top Writers’, a show which interviews authors from the Top of the South Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, features a PEN section hosted by Dana Wensley. The show begins with freedom of speech issues, focusing the lens on one author each session. This Saturday, the show examines self-censorship and the plight of Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy, after the publication and trial surrounding her novel, The God of Small Things. The show airs on Fresh FM. More
TOP WRITERS is a new radio show sponsored by the Top of the South Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. It is produced and written by freedom of speech spokesperson for New Zealand, Dana Wensley Ph.D.
The programme can be heard on Fresh FM. Each show includes an update on freedom of speech issues both in New Zealand and around the world, as well as interviews with local writers.
The first show aired on 23rd April and included an interview with Panni Palasti who spoke about her book Budapest Girl. Panni Palasti is a Hungarian writer who now lives in New Zealand. Her memoir, Budapest Girl, is a powerful mix of poetry and prose, and examines the stories of her childhood, her father (a writer who was in a labour camp during the war) and her experiences growing up in Nazi occupied Hungary.
Pacific Media Centre carries an opinion piece examining ‘open and silent’ censorship in Fiji. Professor Wadan Narsey details the demise of freedom of speech in Fiji. Called the ‘silent censorship’, Narsey outlines what he calls the ‘invidious silent self-censorship’; which is ‘denying the public access to “alternative voices”’. More. Self-censorship is a growing problem worldwide, which is increasingly hard to track down. In 2013, PEN America undertook an investigation into self-censorship in the United States. The report Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor can be read here.
Comedian Jan Böhmermann faces prosecution for reading a poem which screened on late-night German state broadcaster ZDF. The poem, which allegedly criticised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was aired on Neo Magazine Royal, a show hosted by Böhmermann. Section 103 of the German Criminal Code, makes it illegal to insult heads of state. Punishment for an offence under the law ranges from up to five years imprisonment or a fine. More