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ABFE Free Speech Report, vol. 2, no. 4, July 2016
Hong Kong Bookseller Blows Whistle on Chinese Government
On June 17, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom praised Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee for revealing details of his illegal imprisonment by Chinese authorities and for refusing to identify customers in China who purchased books that are critical of Chinese officials.
Bookstores to Hold Banned Books Week Events on September 27
Bookstores in seven cities will hold events on the same night during Banned Books Week this year (September 25–October 1) to highlight challenges to books written by authors of diverse backgrounds. The bookstore events will be held on the evening of September 27 by The Book Cellar (Chicago), Books & Books (Miami), Housing Works Bookstore (New York), Politics & Prose Bookstore (Washington, D.C.), Powell’s Books (Portland, Oregon), Skylight Books (Los Angeles), and Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver).
R.I. Governor Vetoes “Revenge Porn” Law
Citing concerns about free speech, Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has vetoed a bill that would have made booksellers, newspapers, and other media criminally liable for the distribution of nude images without the affirmative consent of the people pictured. The bill was an attempt to address the problem of “revenge porn,” the posting of nude pictures of people by former lovers and others. “We do not have to choose between protecting privacy rights and respecting the principles of free speech,” Raimondo wrote in her June 20 veto message.
ABFE Joins Amicus Briefs in Two Free Speech Cases
Booksellers have joined publishers, authors, and librarians in urging a federal appeals court to invalidate an Idaho law that would prohibit undercover investigations of animal abuse and other illegal conduct at public or private agricultural facilities. On Friday, June 24, ABFE, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Authors Guild, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the Media Coalition Foundation filed an amicus brief in a case challenging the law before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Free Speech” Column Remembers Rhett Jackson
In his June 1 “Free Speech” column, ABFE Director Chris Finan remembered Rhett Jackson, owner of the Happy Bookseller in Columbia, South Carolina, and a former president of the American Booksellers Association. Jackson, who died on May 26, fought for many important causes during his long life. A former member of the ABFE board, he loved to tell people that Playboy gave him an award for protecting free speech.
|The American Booksellers for Free Expression, a program of the American Booksellers Association, is the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship. Please visit our resources page for information about how booksellers can prepare for a variety of free speech emergencies or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In a crisis, call me, ABFE Director Chris Finan, at (917) 509-0340.|
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