Types of Expressions

Types of Expressions

The resources on this Module explore the nature and extent of freedom of expression through a focus on specific speech or speakers, such as political speech, art, or protest.  The readings will demonstrate the existence of a range of standards regarding their protection and regulation, largely enshrined in many regional and country practices, although not all.

9 items found, showing 1 - 9


Author: UN Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Freedom of Opinion and Expression
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“This research report concerns the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, and through any media – including in the form of art. As such, it provides an overview of the human rights law framework applicable to artistic freedom of expression, highlights several contemporary instances of threat to artistic freedom, and concludes with a limited number of recommendations for States, private actors and civil society.” 

UN Human Rights Council (Forty-Fourth Session), Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Artistic Freedom of Expression. A/HRC/44/49/Add.2. July 2020. 

Author: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 'Artistic Freedom: 2022 Global Report, Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity'. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxAB50_P_tY&t=4s

Author: Cartooning for Peace & Cartoonists Rights
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Cartooning for Peace and Cartoonists Rights - network organizations with missions to defend the rights of cartoonists globally - published a report on the challenges of censorship that cartoonists face today. Based on the monitoring and case studies from between 2020 and 2022, the report reviews increased censorship in authoritarian states, hate speech, online trolling, disinformation, and manipulation that targets press cartoonists. The report also looks at criminalization and displacement and how the two became the new normal for many cartoonists. “When you question authority, when you hold up a mirror to authority, that’s what makes you a satirist or a cartoonist,” says Rachita Taneja, a cartoonist from India. “And it is essential that in any healthy democracy that satirists should not face censorship [...]. [O]nly a very insecure and very authoritarian government would silence satirists.” Concluding with recommendations for cartoonists’ organizations, governments, and social media, the report’s authors intend to follow up with a more detailed analytical report in 2025. 


Cartooning for Peace & Cartoonists Rights. Cartoonists on the Line: Report on the situation of threatened cartoonists around the world. 2023. https://www.cartooningforpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/CFP_Rapport2023_ENG_DIGITAL.pdf

Author: Kevin W. Saunders
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"Free Expression and Democracy takes on the assumption that limits on free expression will lead to authoritarianism or at least a weakening of democracy. That hypothesis is tested by an examination of issues involving expression and their treatment in countries included on The Economist's list of fully functioning democracies. Generally speaking, other countries allow prohibitions on hate speech, limits on third-party spending on elections, and the protection of children from media influences seen as harmful. Many ban Holocaust denial and the desecration of national symbols. Yet, these other countries all remain democratic, and most of those considered rank more highly than the United States on the democracy index. This book argues that while there may be other cultural values that call for more expansive protection of expression, that protection need not reach the level present in the United States in order to protect the democratic nature of a country."

Saunders, Kevin W. Free Expression and Democracy: A Comparative Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. doi:10.1017/9781316771129.

Author: Sara Whyatt
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"A new report entitled Free to Create: Artistic Freedom in Europe examines the challenges European artists and cultural workers face in the practice of their right to freedom of artistic expression. These range from laws that curtail creative freedom, attacks from non-governmental groups and online threats to the “under-the-radar” pressures that contribute to self-censorship. Artistic freedom is a core human right requiring protection and it has worsened recently under multiple challenges – political extremism, economic collapse, a global pandemic, threats from digitisation, an emerging environmental catastrophe, and the return of war within Europe – all crises with major impacts on human rights across society."

Author: Council of Europe, Wolfgang Benedek and Matthias C. Kettemann
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As the Council of Europe Newsroom reports, “The Council of Europe has launched a Manifesto on the Freedom of Expression of Arts and Culture in the Digital Era. The Manifesto sums up the importance of artistic creation and cultural industry for our democratic societies as well as the protection, which Article 10 of the European convention on human rights extends to the freedom of artistic expression. Freedom of speech is also the freedom to create. The power of art to communicate and open up new perspectives and ideas makes the artist, artistic mobility and artistic freedom strategic resources for society, helping to overcome fragmentation and addressing today's global challenges. Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has endorsed Manifesto on the Freedom of Expression of Arts and Culture in the Digital Era: ‘Freedom of artistic expression is part of freedom of expression, protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Manifesto on the Freedom of Expression of Arts and Culture in the Digital Era is a political commitment to promote the right of artists to express themselves freely even under difficult circumstances. Freedom of artistic expression is facing growing pressure. More and more artists, experts and cultural professionals who hint at problems, spell out uncomfortable truths, make the unseen visible are subject to pressure, censorship, intimidation and harassment. Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has severely affected the working conditions and income of artists and the cultural and creative sector as a whole. The Manifesto draws attention to these risks and sends a clear political signal to protect openness and creativity, which are essential ingredients of our democracies’.” 

Council of Europe. “Manifesto on the Freedom of Expression of Arts and Culture in the Digital Era”. 2020. https://rm.coe.int/manifesto-on-the-freedom-of-expression-of-arts-and-culture-in-the-digi/1680a056a2

Author: George Orwell
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Originally intended as the preface to Animal Farm, discusses the motivations to self-censorship in literary endeavours.

George Orwell. ‘The Freedom of the Press’, First published: The Times Literary Supplement, September 15, 1972. http://www.orwell.ru/library/novels/Animal_Farm/english/efp_go 

Author: IACmHR, SRFoE Catalina Botero
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“The objective of this publication is to present inter-American jurisprudence that defines the scope and content of this right in a systematic and updated way. Among the most important topics it highlights: the importance, function, and characteristics of the right to freedom of expression, as well as the types of speech protected; the prohibition of censorship and indirect restrictions; the protection of journalists and social communications media; the exercise of freedom of expression by public officials; and freedom of expression in the area of electoral processes.”

OAS, IACmHR, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero. The Inter-American Legal Framework Regarding the Right to Freedom of Expression. OEA/Ser.L/V/II. CIDH/RELE/INF. 2/09. 30 December 2009

Author: Freemuse
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“In the State of Artistic Freedom report – a research publication produced annually – Freemuse provides an analytical examination of violations to the right to freedom of artistic expression documented through 2020 and present some of the most prevailing restrictions. This report is based on the analyses of 978 incidents where this right was violated, documented in 89 countries and online. In addition to statistical data, Freemuse also utilises qualitative interviews with 70 artists and relevant experts, providing personal experiences, reflections and insights about the limitations put on artistic freedom. Aiming to illustrate varying problems and obstacles artists face in different parts of the world, Freemuse also provides analysis of the state of artistic freedoms in 15 countries: Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Kenya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States of America. The report demonstrates that although artistic expression has been under attack by different actors (including political and religious groups, social media platforms and private individuals), different government authorities instigated violations in 60 percent of documented cases. This data illustrates that governments and state-funded bodies remain the biggest threat to artistic expression, as well as that nationalist and populist authorities stay determined to silence varying ways of voicing political dissent.”

Freemuse. “The State of Artistic Freedom 2021”. 2021. https://www.fim-musicians.org/wp-content/uploads/freemuse-report-2021.pdf