Skip to content

This Week in Freedom of Expression 2018–12–16


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/16

Ye Ni: Welcome to Dateline Irrawaddy! This week, we’ll discuss the responsibility and position of the youth in the democratic transition, and the communication between them and older generations. Ma Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a youth advocate from Action Committee for Democracy Development, and poet Maung Saung Kha from Freedom of Expression Activist Organization join me to discuss this. I am Ye Ni, editor of The Irrawaddy Burmese.

We will base our discussion on a Reuters article published by The Irrawaddy. I have read in the article you said that as a youth, you admired and had high hopes for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but now you have lost your idol. Can you explain this? Why did you admire her and why do you now feel like you have lost her?”


“”’Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion’ — everyone, worldwide!

Yet still — perhaps even more now than ever — freedom of expression is one of the most frequently violated human rights. All the more reason for us to stand up for it. The right to freedom of expression and information is essential for a free and democratic state.

Freedom of expression is also the basis for other human rights. For example, free elections can only take place if all citizens can inform themselves freely and comprehensively.””


“Racing 92 are famed for their running rugby and always have been but all that could change this afternoon when the Parisian aristocrats will get their hands dirty at Leicester’s old-school Welford Road ground. The forecast calls for rain and snow.

“Oh, good!” stand-off Finn Russell says in response to the news. “They will be wanting to win at home and keep the European tournament alive for them.

“It’s a big game for them as well as for us. I think, depending upon the weather, it could be a very different game to what it was [last weekend]. We’ll have to see what the weather is like and then decide how to play the game.””


“If you are reading this column, you probably know that the Government of Ontario has mandated that all postsecondary institutions in the province must have a free speech policy in place by January 1, 2019 — just a couple of weeks from now. So, let’s talk about free speech on campus. But first let me tell you about my office door.

I have one of those iconic office doors. You know the kind. Every university department has a couple of professors whose doors are plastered with flyers and clippings and stickers. In my department, that’s me. Visiting speakers sometimes photograph my office door. Colleagues send me stuff to post on it. Students go ahead and post stuff there themselves.”


“Journalists in some countries risk their lives, and recent data confirms this: Reporters Without Borders claims that by mid-October, 52 journalists had been murdered in 2018. The highly publicized case of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi has shown that journalists can be silenced mercilessly.

Khashoggi’s case is of course an extreme example of the extent to which an alleged government-sponsored targeting of journalists can go. The dismemberment of his body for the mere convenience of disposal tells dissident journalists that a brutal death may not be enough; the indignity completes the horror.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: