Press Freedom is Human Freedom

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the freedom of the press, because without solid evidence-based knowledge of fact, no human mind is sovereign, and democracy cannot exist. Facts in evidence: People make choices. Choices have consequences. Societies are made of these consequences. Power leverages the instruments of society to re-shape…

Charlie Hebdo Tragedy Turns into Global Call for Solidarity

The three days of attacks that began with the massacre at the headquarters of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo have made clear the limits of violence as a weapon of social change. We often treat the threat of terrorism as if our liberty were in the balance, as if the rule of law were…

Ecuador must reverse its illegal dissolution of Fundación Pachamama

On Dec. 4, the government of Ecuador arbitrarily dissolved the non-profit organization Fundación Pachamama, the Ecuadorean contingent from the San Francisco-based Pachamama Alliance. Pachamama, which looks to give voice to indigenous communities whose ancestral homelands are being devastated or laid waste by industrial exploitation, has been supportive of the Achuar people and their non-violent resistance…

Public Broadcasting Makes us Free

Public broadcasting in the United States is not like state-run television in other countries, where the ruling party often influences the editorial stance and the quality of reporting. In the United States, there is an absolute wall of separation between politicians for elective office and the editorial process that shapes what is produced by public…

Internet Access Must Be a Human Right

Access to the internet must be a basic human right, across the globe, for a number of reasons. First of all, legitimate, transparent democratic processes of government require in today’s world that information flow freely and that citizens be empowered to share information and to find information, according to their choices and their needs. Socio-economic…

Human Rights Activist Estemirova Murdered in Chechnya

Natalya Estemirova, from the Russian human rights organization, the Memorial Human Rights Center, was kidnapped today while leaving her home in Grozny, the Chechen capital, and later found dead. She reportedly shouted to bystanders “This is a kidnapping!” No one was able to intervene, as four armed men grabbed her and put her into a…

Roxana Saberi is Free

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, jailed in Tehran on allegations of espionage, has had her sentence reduced from 8 years to 2 years, suspended for 5 years. Iranian officials announced today that she was free to leave Evin prison immediately. Saberi, originally detained for buying a bottle of wine, was subsequently charged with reporting without government…

Journalists Around the World at Risk of Violence or Imprisonment

As the world marked international Press Freedom Day yesterday, there was growing concern about the conditions facing journalists around the world. Reporters without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern a Tibetan editor jailed in China may be suffering torture, the American journalist Roxana Saberi is said to be frail due to an ongoing hunger strike in…