Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals". (Full article...)
Image 12George Orwell statue at the headquarters of the BBC. A defence of free speech in an open society, the wall behind the statue is inscribed with the words "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear", words from George Orwell's proposed preface to Animal Farm (1945). (from Freedom of speech)
Image 20Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)—Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." (from Freedom of speech)
Image 22Orthodox priest Libor Halík with a group of followers. Halík has been chanting daily for over five years against abortion via megaphone in front of a maternity hospital in Brno, Moravia. (from Freedom of speech by country)
Bassem al-Tamimi (Arabic: باسم التميمي, born c. 1967) is a Palestinian activist and an organizer of protests against Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. He was convicted by an Israeli military court in 2011 for "sending people to throw stones, and holding a march without a permit". A schoolteacher in Nabi Salih in the West Bank, al-Tamimi organizes weekly demonstrations against Israeli settlement. He has been arrested by the Israeli authorities over a dozen times, at one point spending more than three years in administrative detention without trial. Al-Tamimi advocates grassroots, nonviolent resistance, but has stated his belief that stone-throwing is an important symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. His 2011 arrest drew international attention, with the European Union describing him as a "human rights defender" and Amnesty International designating him a prisoner of conscience. He was arrested again in October 2012 for a demonstration in a supermarket, but released in early 2013.
Freedom of speech is central to most every other right that we hold dear in the United States and serves to strengthen the democracy of our great country. It is unfortunate, then, when actions occur that might be interpreted as contrary to this honored tenet.
— Sam Farr, Congressional Record, "Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press", (November 7, 1997).