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A message from Simon Singh:

Thanks to weavehole for the letter and links.
A message from Simon Singh:

"It has been 18 months since I was sued for libel after publishing my article on chiropractic. I am continuing to fight my case and am prepared to defend my article for another 18 months or more if necessary. The ongoing libel case has been distracting, draining and frustrating, but it has always been heartening to receive so much support, particularly from people who realise that English libel laws need to be reformed in order to allow robust discussion of matters of public interest. Over twenty thousand people signed the statement to Keep Libel Laws out of Science, but now we need you to sign up again and add your name to the new statement.

The new statement is necessary because the campaign for libel reform is stepping up a gear and will be working on much broader base. Sense About Science has joined forces with Index on Censorship and English PEN and their goal is to reach 100,000 or more signatories in order to help politicians appreciate the level of public support for libel reform. We have already met several leading figures from all three main parties and they have all showed signs of interest. Now, however, we need a final push in order to persuade them to commit to libel reform.

Finally, I would like to make three points. First, I will stress again - please take the time to reinforce your support for libel reform by signing up at www.libelreform.org. Second, please spread the word by blogging, twittering, Facebooking and emailing in order to encourage friends, family and colleagues to sign up. Third, for those supporters who live overseas, please also add your name to the petition and encourage others to do the same; unfortunately and embarrassingly, English libel laws impact writers in the rest of the world, but now you can help change those laws by showing your support for libel reform. While I fight in my own libel battle, I hope that you will fight the bigger battle of libel reform."

And from me, Síle:

The campaign for libel reform was launched by Sense About Science, Index on Censorship and English PEN on Wednesday 9th December. You can read about it in the following articles:

BBC NEWS Comic Dara O Briain says libel laws 'quash dissent' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8404803.stm

The Times Scientists urge reform of 'lethal' libel law
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/medicine/article6951054.ece

The Independent Comic Dara O Briain lambasts 'bully' libel law
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/comic-dara-obriain-lambasts-bully-libel-law-1837527.html

The Mirror Dara O Briain wants libel reform
http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/latest/2009/12/09/dara-o-briain-wants-libel-reform-115875-21885517/

THE UCL provost: libel law is stifling academic freedoms
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=409518&c=1

New Scientist blog Campaign to reform English libel law launched
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/thesword/2009/12/campaign-to-reform-english-lib.html

Press Gazette'Libel can kill - reform it now'
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=44766&c=1

The Press AssociationDara O Briain wants libel reform
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g7TWRXp_3jve3l3t9PHJMN5G2EBw

To read the background of this campaign see http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333/. We still need your support. Add your voice at http://www.libelreform.org/ and help us reach our fundraising target at http://www.justgiving.com/bookfunds.

Best

Síle

TAGGED: CAMPAIGNS, LAW, MEDICINE


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