LM magazine is being sued for libel by ITN, in a case which threatens
to bankrupt the magazine and also raises issues about the use
of libel to censor criticism. As the publishers of LM, we have
launched an Appeal in Defence of Free Speech. It has already won
support from many eminent writers, journalists, academics and
artists. Here are some of the signatories. We will be building
support for the appeal until the case is won.
Helene Guldberg and Claire Fox
Free Speech Appeal
We, the undersigned, believe that all open and democratic societies
should acknowledge the public's right to read critical and dissenting
views. Without the right, the sphere of public debate and expression
is dangerously narrowed. No public figure or organisation should
be exempt. Nothing should be above criticism.
In February 1997 LM magazine published an article criticising
ITN's award-winning footage from Trnopolje camp in Bosnia. Throughout
Europe and in the United States the debate has become a matter
of public interest and has been discussed widely in the media.
In the UK, by contrast, the debate has been stifled because ITN
issued a libel writ against the editor and publishers of LM magazine.
We encourage others to join us in condemning ITN's decision to
act in this manner as a deplorable attack on
ITN has displayed contempt for the public's right to decide the
relative merits of two sides of an important argument. We call
on all those who value their freedom to join us in demanding the
right to make up our own minds.
Professor Johan Galtung
Steven Alan Green
Professor Jim Haynes
Professor Wilhelm Kempf
Hundreds of people have helped the Off The Fence Fund raise over
£60,000. But much more than this is needed to see the case through
and to defend press freedom whenever it is attacked. Libel cases
are notoriously expensive, and can cost in excess of £200,000
for lawyers and barristers. This does not even take into account
the costs of paying barristers in court. Professional legal advice
needs to be taken at every step to ensure the best chance of victory.
To send a donation, please make cheques payable to OFF THE FENCE
FUND and send to:
49-51 Farringdon Road,
London EC1M 3JB
Now go to sign the appeal and find out how you can raise money