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Aug. 29, 2016 | Press Releases

HRF Welcomes UN Special Rapporteur’s Opinion Limiting Broad “Hate Speech” Prohibition

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NEW YORK (August 29, 2016) — Human Rights Foundation (HRF) welcomes a recent opinion by David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, which effectively narrows the definition of “hate speech” under international law. On August 15, the Special Rapporteur condemned the government of Singapore for prosecuting 17-year-old blogger Amos Yee on charges of “wounding religious or racial feelings.” Mr. Yee published several videos that contained language disparaging devotees of Islam and Christianity, as well as their religious beliefs. Using profanity, Mr. Yee called Christians “frauds” and accused them of “cherry pick[ing]” the compassionate verses from the bible while “completely ignoring the verses that contradict them.” The Special Rapporteur’s opinion stressed that, although Mr. Yee’s videos may be “offensive, shocking and disturbing,” the language and means of expression he used should not be criminalized as hate speech because they do not constitute “serious and extreme instances of incitement to hatred.”

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Aug. 24, 2016 | Press Releases

HRF to Angola: Withdraw Secret Social Media Bill

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NEW YORK (August 24, 2016) — Human Rights Foundation (HRF) strongly condemns Angola’s obscure Statute of Journalists Bill and calls on the National Assembly to both make it public and reject it immediately. According to a public statement published last week by Maka Angola, a prestigious civil society organization led by award-winning journalist and civil rights activist Rafael Marques de Morais, the unpublished bill will “hand control (and censorship) of all … media outlets, including social media and the internet, to a new [government]-controlled supervisory body: the Angolan Social Communications Regulatory Body.” 

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Aug. 18, 2016 | Press Releases

Venezuela: HRF Condemns Sham Appellate Proceedings; Requests Release of Prisoner of Conscience

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NEW YORK (August 18, 2016) — Today marks two and a half years since Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López was arbitrarily arrested in Caracas while leading a peaceful demonstration to the Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace. Human Rights Foundation (HRF) reiterates its February 2014 designation of López as a prisoner of conscience and calls on Venezuela’s authoritarian regime to release him immediately. This morning, López was formally notified of a Venezuelan appellate court's decision to uphold the 14-year sentence he was given in September 2015.

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