19 Apr 2012 ARTICLE 19 releases regional legal resources on freedom of expression
For instance, in Latin America, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru and Jamaica took positive steps towards decriminalising defamation. Bermuda even ruled that it was unconstitutional.
In the Middle East and North Africa, ARTICLE 19 points out that transitional governments are trying to ensure free expression is guaranteed in the new constitutions. Unfortunately, existing laws “have been used as pretences to intimidate and incarcerate those exercising their rights to free expression and association,” ARTICLE 19 found.
In 2011, Africa boasted substantive freedom of information wins, especially in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and across the whole region with the adoption of the African Platform on Access to Information, which guides African states about this essential right.
Meanwhile, in Asia, Burma, China and Pakistan all issued regulations restricting the right to freedom of expression on the Internet. In Burma, for instance, CDs, USB sticks and other storage devices were banned from Internet cafés. In China, users of microblogs (like Twitter) have to register using their real names. ARTICLE 19 says the regulations are likely to force citizens to censor themselves.