Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Point about ''Freedom of Expression''

Freedom of expression is the key for building a real democracy in any country.It is also a human right.However,there should be a limit to it as there is a limit on any right.For example,defamatory,libel,riot-provoking expressions need not be permitted by the guise of freedom of expression. In Ethiopia,there are nations and nationalities with their own identities. If one person tries to say something like "This type of nation or nationality is non-existent '' or if the person speaks something similar to this that degrades the identity of a certain nation or nationality,etc,is this something that falls within the legitimate right to freedom of expression? The right to freedom of expression should never ever be a tool for the abuse of others' rights. If abused,the legitimate right starts to constitute a crime. Nowadays,there are many posts on social media that degrade a certain ethnic,religious or political ideology groups. Constructive analysis and criticism is an  encouragable culture but blatant insult is not. What do you think about this issue?


  1. I would wholeheartedly agree with your 1st and 2nd statements: FoE is a pre-requisite for meaningful participation, in turn the essence of democracy; and, (partly for this very reason) FoE is a fundamental human right (as well as a pre-requisite for dignified human existence. Yet, the rest of your post gives me pose; not that any sane person would expect rights without limits. Or would I question the veracity of 'the rights of others' or 'public security' justifications for limitations on FoE. My worries pertain to two items in your post: the word 'permitted' and 'the guise of FoE'. The first, IMHO, erroneously subjects a legally recognized right as a matter of permission. The second is simply too negative a word to use in reference to our rights, yours and mine. Generally, I would submit that the issue should be the permissibility or legitimacy of the limits rather than the potential for abuse.

  2. gmgiorgis,I don't think defamation,blathphemy,etc is a legally recognized right;rather it is Freedom of Expression(with Justifiable Limits)which is legally recognized.



Towards a Comprehensive Prosecution Service in Ethiopia: Noting the New Developments by Leake Mekonen Tesfay

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I am an Ethiopian legal professional. I use this blog to share my knowledge,experience and views or opinions about Ethiopian Law and Justice System.If you want to view my professional profile visit the following link by copy-pasting it to your browser address bar https://www.linkedin.com/in/eyasabeba. Stay tuned!

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