and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1949)—Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".
The United States Bill of Rights
consists of the first ten amendments
to the United States Constitution
. These amendments limit the powers of the federal government
, protecting the rights
of the people by preventing Congress
from abridging freedom of speech
, freedom of the press
, freedom of assembly
, freedom of religious worship
, the freedom to petition
, and the right to keep and bear arms
, preventing unreasonable search and seizure
, cruel and unusual punishment
, and self-incrimination
, and guaranteeing due process
of law and a speedy
, public trial
with an impartial jury
. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States. The Bill of Rights plays a central role in American law
and government, and remains a fundamental symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation.
George Orwell statue at the headquarters of the BBC. A defence of free speech in an open society, the wall behind the statue is inscribed with the words "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”, words from George Orwell's proposed preface to Animal Farm (1945).
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949)—Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
In this month
Larry Claxton Flynt, Jr.
(born November 1, 1942) is an American publisher
and the president of Larry Flynt Publications
(LFP). In 2003, Arena
magazine listed him as the number one on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list. LFP mainly produces sexually graphic videos and magazines, most notably Hustler
. Flynt has fought several prominent legal battles involving the First Amendment
, and has unsuccessfully run for public office. He is paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained in a 1978 assassination attempt
. In 1988, Flynt won an important Supreme Court decision, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell
, after being sued by Reverend Jerry Falwell
in 1983, over an offensive ad parody in Hustler
that suggested that Falwell's first sexual encounter was with his mother in an out-house. Falwell sued Flynt, citing emotional distress caused by the ad. The decision clarified that public figures cannot recover damages for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" based on parodies.
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