Below, please find the latest case additions to the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression legal database.
As always, we very much welcome your comments and feedback on the case analyses. We could not get access to the official court documents, including the decisions, for some cases. If you have access to such documents, please forward them to me.
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January 4-10, 2016
SCAT Airlines v. Sergei Vitalevich Kim
Decision Date: December 18, 2015
Kazakhstan's court of first instance acquitted Journalist Sergei Vitalevich Kim of criminal defamation for an article he wrote about Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airline being considered the most dangerous in the world. The Court found that his article was based on verified factual allegations and that he lacked intent to undermine the airline's business reputation.
Public Prosecutor v. Shwe Hmone (Myanmar)
Decision Date: December 18, 2015
A court in Kyaktada Township found Daw Shwe Hmone, a senior reporter for Thamaga News Journal, guilty of violating the Peaceful Assembly Law for participating in a public prayer event commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. The peaceful demonstration was considered illegal and she was sentenced to either 15 days in prison or to a fine of 10,000 kyat (approximately USD 7.70).
Rolfsen and Association of Norwegian Editors v. the Norwegian Prosecution Authority
Decision Date: November 20, 2015
The Supreme Court of Norway reversed the Court of Appeal's ruling and ordered the seizure Rolfsen’s documentary film recordings on Islamic extremism to be set aside. The Court assessed the interest in protection of sources against the interest of the public in prevention of serious crimes in accordance with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court found the effective protection of his sources was "vital" to creating the documentary which was in the public interest, and that that Police Security Service of Norway had other investigative methods at its disposal.
Military Prosecutor v. Chayapha Chokepornboonsri
Decision Date: December 15, 2015
Chayapha Chokepornboonsri was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison by the Military Court in Bangkok for posting images with captions on Facebook relating to an alleged military coup.
Public Prosecutor v. Amos Yee Pang Sang
Decision Date: May 12, 2015
The court found 16 year old Yee guilty under Section 292 of Singapore's Penal Code of deliberate intent to offend Christianity and Section 298 for electronic transmission of an obscene image pertaining to content he uploaded on YouTube and his blog about the Prime Minister of Singapore. On October 08, 2015, the High Court of Singapore dismissed Yee's appeal against his conviction and jail sentence reasoning that he deliberately intended to humiliate the religious groups.
Public Prosecutor v. Roy Ngerng
Decision Date: October 7, 2015
A court of Singapore found blogger and activist Ngerng and five other protest participants guilty of "public nuisance" for organizing a demonstration without the appropriate permit. Ngerng was sentenced to a fine of S$1,900.00 (approximately $1320.00).
Project Manager, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
Columbia Global Freedom of Expression