In the Media

A year of gagging, and fightbacks

PUBLISHED December 14, 2009
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In 2009 the government, courts and the police have connived in the suppression of investigative journalism and scientific research. But campaigns for free expression are gaining ground.

This year saw the most sustained assault on free expression in the UK for two decades. In 1989, it was an externally generated threat, the fatwa declared against Salman Rushdie, that served to chill speech and thought. In 2009, the biggest threat to free expression in the UK came from our own establishment.

At various points in the year, the government, the courts and the police connived in the suppression of investigative journalism, scientific research and the reporting of human rights abuses. Libel legislation, the emerging privacy laws and the

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