This Week in Freedom of Speech 2018–05–06

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“Apple CEO Tim Cook says mobile payment service Apple Pay will soon be available in Ukraine.

During Apple’s earnings call on May 1 afternoon, Cook said, “Norway, Poland, and Ukraine to get Apple Pay in coming months.”

Cook provided neither the precise launch date nor any other details of the digital payment service roll-out, beyond the announcement that it would be coming, however. The company is allegedly still negotiating transaction fees with regional banks.

Apple Pay is a function available on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple Watches that allows users to enter their credit and debit card details onto a device and use them to make payments online and in-store.”


“The left has made many mistakes in recent years. Throwing its lot in with the middle-class misanthropes of the green movement. Lining up with that Byzantine bureaucracy and plunger of the Greek working classes into penury, the European Union. Calling Emily Thornberry ‘kween’ (when actually she’s only a Lady). But its greatest error, the one from which it will struggle to recover, has been its abandonment of freedom of speech. The consequences of the left’s vacating of the field of free speech will be dire and will be felt for many years, not only on the left itself but across the political sphere.

The way many on the left now speak about freedom of speech feels depressing to those of us who consider ourselves of the left and who love liberty. To those of us who know that English radicals had their tongues torn out and their ears cut off for the crime of speaking freely, for offending against the given morality with their risqué ideas and pamphlets, it feels disturbing to hear a new generation of ‘radicals’ use the belittling phrase ‘freeze peach’ to mock anyone who thinks this liberty is important.

To those of us who know that, from John Milton to Thomas Paine to the Chartists to the Suffragettes, every progressive struggle for greater democracy and equality went hand-in-hand with a demand for greater press freedom, so that people could press their radical new ideas, it is alarming to watch Corbynistas whoop and cheer as Jeremy Corbyn promises to force the raucous press to sign up to state-approved regulation. Which would be the first such regulation in Britain since 1695. John Lilburne, probably the greatest radical of the English Civil War and its aftermath, was publicly whipped and tortured and gagged with his own illegal pamphlets for his efforts to bring about this end to the state’s regulation of the press; Corbyn and his crew would bring it back. ‘Fuck Lilburne’, they don’t say but do mean.”


“”I think my crime is that, during an interview with Deutsche Welle, I gave a political opinion which was contrary to the government’s opinion,” said Sadegh Zibakalam. “When the government says that the unrest was ordered by enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government expects that everyone follows suit and repeats that opinion.”

Threatened by a ‘social ban’

But Sadegh Zibakalam didn’t do that. In January, the well-known Iranian political scientist spoke to Deutsche Welle’s Persian program about the unrest in Iran at a time when tens of thousands of Iranians were taking to the streets to protest against Tehran’s economic policies and the entire political establishment. Zibakalam showed sympathy for the demonstrators and contradicted the government’s accusations. “I said that it was organized by the Iranian people. It wasn’t influenced by anyone outside Iran. No foreign power had any hand in it,” Zibakalam said in his latest interview with DW.

Now the 69-year-old faces a possible 18-month prison sentence. Iran’s Revolutionary Court ruled against Zibakalam in March. If the ruling is confirmed, the political scientist will not only spend time in prison, he will also face a two-year “social ban.” That means he can’t give interviews, publish articles, or be active in social networks. Zibakalam has appealed the ruling; a decision is pending.”


“The UK’s complex tangle of regulations governing free speech on university campuses should be replaced by one clear set of guidelines for both students and institutions, according to the universities minister.

In a speech at a closed-door seminar on free speech on campus, the minister, Sam Gyimah, will suggest the Department for Education oversees the creation of the first new set of guidelines — since the free speech duty was first introduced in 1986 — to “provide clarity”.

The current web of rules allows “bureaucrats or wreckers on campus” to block discussion of unfashionable views, according to Gyimah. He blames the complexity for the rise in safe spaces and no-platform policies.”


“May 3, Kyiv: A round table “Freedom of speech in Ukraine: current status and challenges” was held devoted to the World Press Freedom Day. The discussion was organised by the Information Society Department of the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe and the European Union Partnership for Good Governance jointly with the Ministry of Information Policy and CSO “Institute of Mass Information”.

The goal of the round table was to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation among state authorities, law enforcement agencies, civil society and international organisations for improving the legal protection of journalists, ensuring favourable conditions for journalists’ work and aligning Ukrainian legislation to the Council of Europe standards.

Opening the round table, Olena Lytvynenko, Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine drew attention to the article of the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović calling on member states to improve the safety of journalists and presented three practical actions proposed in the article.”


“Journalists across Spain say the central government’s political agenda threatens the media’s integrity, credibility and freedom of speech.

Media professionals in Spain have declared that enough is enough, launching protests against sanctions restricting their rights to freedom of speech ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

Taking part in the marches are the Federation of Associations of Journalists of Spain (FAPE), the Press Association of Madrid (APM), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and the Federation of Trade Unions of Journalists (FESP) with the slogan ‘For free, truthful and independent journalism.’

“The current administration manipulates and prevents citizens from having multiple informative sources; we are not accomplices and we refuse to accept it,” employees of Spanish broadcaster RTVE wrote in a statement.”


(Updated September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:, Scott.Jacobsen@TrustedClothes.Com, Scott@ConatusNews.Com,, Scott@Karmik.Ca.

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice Magazine, Your Political Party of BC, ProBC, Marijuana Party of Canada, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Harvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.

He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.



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Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights. Website: