Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. 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. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.
The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that "veryone 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". Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".
Freedom of speech may be legally curtailed in some religious legal systems and in secular jurisdictions where it is found to cause religious offense, such as the British Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
Read more about Freedom Of Speech: The Right To Freedom of Speech and Expression, Origins, Freedom of Speech, Dissent and Truth, Democracy, Social Interaction and Community, Limitations, The Internet and Information Society, See Also
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Famous quotes containing the words Freedom Of Speech, speech and/or freedom:
“When a man says that he is Jesus or Napoleon, or that the Martians are after him, or claims something else that seems outrageous to common sense, he is labeled psychotic and locked up in a madhouse. Freedom of speech is only for normal people.”
—Thomas Szasz (b. 1920)
“Does any one suppose that private prayer is necessarily candidnecessarily goes to the roots of action! Private prayer is inaudible speech, and speech is representative: who can represent himself just as he is, even in his own reflections?”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)
“The Forefathers dayPilgrim day. We are at the same high call here todayfreedom, freedom for all. We all know that is the essence of this contest.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)