Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Week: The current Amnesty International list

The censorship issue is not limited to the United States, which by its Constitution grants its citizens the most freedom of expression in the world. Other countries around the world with restrictive or dictatorial régimes limit free expression as a way to control information and opinion of policies and politics.

During Banned Books Week, Amnesty International directs attention to the plight of individuals around the world who are persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate or read. Traditionally, Banned Books Week activities take place at the end of each September -- but the featured cases are not confined to a week, and continue to need action to fight censorship every day.

» Read updates on previous Banned Books Week cases

Eynulla Fatullayev

journalist harassed and imprisoned

After writing another series of articles critical of the government, including a discussion of possible consequences for Azerbaijan of a US-Iranian war, which the Azerbaijani authorities regarded as a threat of terrorism, Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced (30 October 2007) to an additional eight and a half years' imprisonment on various charges lacking plausible evidence and considered to be politically motivated. In April 2010 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Eynulla Fatullayev's conviction violated his rights to free expression, that he had been unfairly tried, and that there was "no justification for the imposition of a prison sentence".

Nurmemet Yasin

writer in prison

Uighur poet and story writer Nurmemet Yasin is serving a 10-year prison sentence for writing an allegorical short story that the authorities consider to be a veiled indictment of their rule in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). He is a prisoner of conscience.

Hengameh Shahidi

imprisoned journalist

Hengameh Shahidi, aged about 35, is a journalist and political activist who is currently serving a six-year sentence in Evin Prison, Tehran, while suffering from a heart condition that requires regular medication. She is a prisoner of conscience.

Chekib El-Khiari

journalist jailed & fined

Journalist and human rights defender Chekib El-Khiari is serving a three-year sentence in Taza prison. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for his legitimate and peaceful human rights work.

Jean Leonard Rugambage

journalist killed

Rwandan journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was killed on 24 June 2010. Authorities should establish an independent commission of inquiry into the killing and ensure that other journalists can work in safety. Over recent years, Rwandan journalists working for non-state media frequently have been threatened and physically assaulted.

Prageeth Eknaligoda

journalist & cartoonist disappeared

Journalist, cartoonist and political analyst Prageeth Eknaligoda disappeared from Homagama, near the capital, Colombo, shortly after leaving work at the Lanka-e-News office on 24 January 2010.

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