Freedom of Expression
Freedom of expression refers to the right to share information and opinions and to get access to information. Having public and private media that are free from the control and influence of governments and powerful businesses is an important part of freedom of expression. But you can also express opinions by protesting or by working with others who share your beliefs through organisations. So free speech overlaps with the freedom of assembly (the right to protest) and freedom of association (the right to create organisations). These rights help individuals participate in public affairs and are vital to the functioning of democracy. Of course, these rights are not absolute. For example, the authorities can legitimately prohibit child pornography and hate speech or put conditions on protests to prevent them from turning violent. Unfortunately, in many EU countries, authorities are restricting free speech, punishing whistleblowers and banning protests without good reason, just to prevent unpopular laws and policies from being criticised. Similarly, several governments and businesses have a heavy influence on public and privately owned media outlets. This topic covers the work we do to protect free speech, access to information, whistleblowers, media freedom and freedom of assembly.
Freedom of Expression articles
•The number of complaints from ultra-Catholic groups, backed by extreme right-wing parties, against actors, playwrights, photomontages, performances, processions, carnival performances and exhibitions has increased dramatically in Spain in recent years....
•A Spanish court has sentenced a documentary filmmaker who placed a camera and microphone in the crypt of a monument to the Fallen to one year in prison for discovering and revealing secrets. The filmmaker suspected that members of a brotherhood were me...
•Government connections in two of Slovenia's neighbours try to influence media reports in the country, but Slovenia reacts strongly, showing a more progressive approach to freedom of the press.
•The Vilnius Regional Court has found that prosecutors correctly refused to launch an investigation into Marius Ivaškevičius's novel "Žali", and that prosecuting the author for his postmodernist work was impermissible in a democracy.