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If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell

people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell.


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a case where certain people
dont want to hear something that are not in line with their best
interest, such action is logical and a human response but what
makes this case important is that those people dont want others
to hear such things as well.
Briefly, the precedent facts of the case are quite
straightforward. Plaintiff, herein TTV and Tanja trotter where
prosecuted and even convicted by the Republic of Turustein for
various crimes that most of you are familiar of covering from
defamation to inciting to an uprising. Such conviction stemmed
from an anonymous article and a cartoon which admittedly is
directed against the government and its certain officials.
As much as we want to discuss the merits of each grounds
provided in the complaint, perhaps it is easier and clearer that
such issues be summarized in to two important questions. First,
was their interference on the part of the Government but more
importantly, did such interference violate the right of freedom of
expression guaranteed under article 19 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, where the Republic of
Turustein ratified and are therefore bound.
We answer in the affirmative. Certainly there is little to no
quarrel at all that indeed there was interference by the Turustein
Republic by not only demanding that the article and the cartoon
be taken down from the website but by prosecuting members of
the media for having allowed it up in the first place.
The question that remains to be answered however is
whether such interference constitutes a violation of the right to
freedom of expression as guaranteed by article 19 of the ICCPR.
Again, we answer in the affirmative.

It should be noted that the article covers not only the right to
hold opinion without interference but the right to freedom of
expression, to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. A
right which was violated by the Republic of Turustein when it
invalidly interfered when,
(1) it ordered taking down of a political article and political
cartoon
(2)it Demanded that the sources of the previous items be
revealed
(3) it prosecuted the media when it posted such items both
on the internet and reported it television.

On the first point, distinction should be made between


political speech and expression and expression with regards to
speech and expression in general but then again the political
scientist within me would contend that practically almost all
activity of man is political, but that is beyond my point.
Are the above articles political in nature? Certainly, the very
geek origin of the word politikos which means that of or relating
to citizen should suffice, not only are those article referring to
public officers but also to their performance of such office. Being
political in nature such articles are not in essence an attack
against the private identity of the person. It covers a matter that
belongs to the sphere of public interest where the names of the
officers and their personality are merely incidental. In short, the
cartoon and the article is mainly an attack to the office itself.
American Case law as well as different areas of jurisprudence
such as the Council of Europe, the High Court of Australia and

others, highly values political speech. Political speech is afforded


special protection and that it is very integral to a democratic
society such as Turrestein.1 It should also be noted that there is
little to no distinction at all with political speech and speech
regarding public interest.2 The main point is rather than protecting
political speech, the government ordered the taking down of the
same without even looking at the claims, a direct contravention
not only of its own constitution but as well as its obligation to the
international community as well as to its citizens. Protection
before prosecution. Protection which is absent in this case.
The second point is about the importance of sources in
media and in freedom of expression with regards to public
interest, anonymity is an important precondition. As a matter of
fact many important documents in Human history where written
under pseudonyms which were dissected not by the name of the
author who wrote it but the message and information it attempts
to deliver, Publius to the Federalist Papers, Dimasalang of the
Philippines, to name a few. If the authors of such articles
themselves resulted to anonymous methods, it would be illogical
and an outright violation of the trust given by them to the media
if they reveal it. In the land mark case of Goodwin V United
Kingdom, the European Court of Human rights ruled that forcing
a journalist to reveal his sources violates his right to receive and
impart information, hence violating the right to freedom of
expression. The facts states clearly that indeed there was such
force employed by the government prosecuting and convicting
members of the media for failure to reveal their source, a media
which I might add, is the one of the few if not the only
independent media existing in the country. The government in
general barked on the wrong tree of accountability, that is, again,
1 Article 19 Freedom of Expression Handbook, page 54

2 Supra, page 64

rather than looking at the accountability of its officers, it strongly


employed its power to hold someone criminally accountable for
releasing such allegations. Protection not prosecution.
Lastly, it has been established that there was a lack of protection
afforded to the media by arbitrarily using against them the
machinery of the government and the laws that are meant to
protect the right to freedom of expression in the first place. The
government therefore not only disregarded protection but
resulted only to active prosecution, prosecution instead
protection? Prosecution absent protection? And they call
themselves a democratic nation?
It is undeniable that in most if not all democratic society,
freedom of expression is a right guaranteed to its citizens. A right
that is given special protection in light of political issues or
matters that are of public concern. In the case at hand, the
Republic of Turustein violated such right that is enshrined not only
in its constitution but as well as the international covenant that
they signed and ratified by not only not giving protection to the
media but by actively prosecuting members of it.
The government therefore wanted to kill the messenger so
that the message would not be delivered in the first place. It was
not important to them whether such allegation was real or not,
what was important to them was that such allegations should
never be allowed in the first place.
In behalf of all the independent media of the Republic of
Turustein, and in those citizens relying on those rights, we come
here not only to complain about such prior violations but more
importantly to prevent subsequent violations as well. The law, the
policy and the cases are clear.
The right to freedom of
expression is protected by domestic and international law, it was
intended to a lot special protection to political speech and
expression, that jurisprudence rules that not only is the

information protected but so as the identity and the person


imparting it.
This decision is crucial, as it would definitely send a message
to everyone throughout the world but as to what message it is,
lies on your hands, the honourable court. Protection not
prosecution.
I conclude with the wise words of Michel Templet, If you are
not going to use free speech to criticize you own government,
then what the hell is the point of having it?