O recuo da Grã-Bretanha na liberdade de expressão

NOVA IORQUE – A experiência terrível de David Miranda - o companheiro do colunista do The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald, detido no aeroporto de Heathrow, em Londres, interrogado durante nove horas e obrigado a entregar os seus dispositivos electrónicos (alguns dos quais continham supostamente documentos com fuga de informação fornecidos a Greenwald pelo ex-analista informático dos EUA, Edward Snowden) - é uma demonstração impressionante da mudança de ambiente que se vive em torno da imprensa. Então é uma realidade que as autoridades estatais ameaçaram o editor do TheGuardian, Alan Rusbridger, com acusações criminais e obrigaram os funcionários do TheGuardian a destruírem equipamentos informáticos nos escritórios do jornal. Mas o que é mais chocante é que tudo isso aconteceu no Reino Unido.

Na qualidade de chefe do governo que levou a cabo estes actos, o primeiro-ministro britânico, David Cameron, traiu o legado cultural mais nobre do seu país. Na verdade, a Grã-Bretanha praticamente inventou e forneceu ao resto do mundo a noção de liberdade de expressão.

Já no século XVII, sempre que os monarcas ou os parlamentares tentavam controlar a imprensa da Grã-Bretanha, os panfletários e os polemistas britânicos ripostavam - e ganhavam muitas vezes. Perante o fervor revolucionário anti-monárquico, o Parlamento - e Cameron deveria recordar-se disso - aprovou o Regulamento de 1643, que impôs a censura antes da publicação das notícias na imprensa britânica. Os livreiros protestaram e no ano seguinte John Milton publicou a obra “Areopagítica”, uma declaração básica da nossa filosofia moderna do direito à liberdade de expressão. Regressando aos princípios britânicos mais importantes, a Câmara dos Comuns revogou a legislação que suprimia a liberdade de imprensa, em 1776.

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