Institute of Public Affairs runs ad in The Australian campaigning for freedom of speech

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The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has taken out a full page ad in today’s Australian newspaper, claiming Australia’s freedom of speech is under threat.

A list of names sit below a statement which reads “We support freedom of speech for Andrew Bolt and every Australian.” A group of 1,261 people donated to the IPA to pay for the ad with those who donated more than $40 given the option to have their name published.

The ad follows last week’s Federal Court ruling which found the News Ltd columnist Bolt in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act over two articles he wrote in 2009.

He was being sued by nine Aboriginal people who alleged the articles implied light-skinned people who identified as indigenous Australians were doing so for personal gain.   

Despite Bolt arguing the articles were fair and adhered to free speech laws, the judge found the breach as the articles were said to contain factual errors.

Chris Berg, research fellow at the IPA, told Mumbrella: “This is a statement in support of freedom of speech in general. It’s not just about Andrew Bolt. This is a very public statement from the IPA and those who openly signed it, and this is something that we think is really important and we’re going to pursue.”

Berg said the institute was currently working on a book and the roll-out of more information on the topic.

The ad will run in today’s issue of The Australian only.


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