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Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in the Era of Political and Social Polarization (online event)

Date & Time
September 26, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT

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An open and fair global society is based on people freely exercising their rights – without fear or unlawful interference. Yet, the repression of dissent and civil society remains a trend that is a threat to human rights globally.

Across the globe, in the media, in libraries, in schools, governments have intensified censorship and routinely imprison people for their written, spoken, or other artistic expressions.

Join us for a discussion on freedom of expression and how we exercise this fundamental right to express thoughts, share information and demand a better world, in light of our polarized politics in a way that advances the discussion while providing a coherent and consistent view of ‘speech’ that does not appear to fall back on ‘speech we like’ vs ‘speech we don’t like’ and and reinforces the principles of freedom of expression.

This event will feature critical voices of artists, activists, educators, and librarians that governments are trying to silence.

Speakers include:

Salvadoran author Michelle Recinos whose collection of short stories was due to be featured at a book fair in neighboring Guatemala celebrating Salvadorian literature. However, her appearance was canceled after pressure from El Salvador’s embassy. Recinos’s book titled, Sustancia del higado [“Liver broth”] features a short story that portrays a fictitious geography in which a “national state of exception” has just been imposed

Joshua Franco is a Senior Research Advisor at Amnesty Tech. His work touches on digital surveillance and censorship, algorithmic accountability and other digital rights issues in countries including Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and elsewhere. A US-trained lawyer, he has worked on issues including free expression, non-discrimination, hate crimes, housing rights, war crimes, and decriminalisation of sex work in numerous regions and countries.

Ed McKennon is an academic librarian and member of of Amnesty International’s Banned books working group. He is the faculty advisor for Glendale community college Amnesty international student group. ed resides in Arizona.

Ash Gohr is a Children’s public librarian and educator. They reside in Arizona.

Larry Ladutke is Amnesty International’s USA’s country Specialist for El Salvador and co-chairs the Central America/Caribbean Co-Group. Larry earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center by writing a dissertation of human rights advocacy, the media, and public security reform during the implementation of the 1992 peace accords in El Salvador. Larry has provided expert testimony/statements in dozens of asylum cases and attorneys have told him that he helped save their clients lives.

RSVP: https://amnestyusa-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_g4G2pRmVSyKprtWJNl5KpQ