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Media Advisory

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The University of Minnesota's 26th annual Silha Lecture, “Free Speech and the Digital Challenge Around the Globe: A Conversation with Mark Stephens,” takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Coffman Union Theater. [Photo courtesy Sean MacEntee]

Former counsel for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange to deliver 26th annual Silha Lecture at U of M Oct. 4

Contacts: Sarah Howard, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, showard@umn.edu, (612) 625-8095
Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720

September 26, 2011

The University of Minnesota's 26th annual Silha Lecture, “Free Speech and the Digital Challenge Around the Globe: A Conversation with Mark Stephens,” takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Coffman Union Theater, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis.

Stephens is the head of the International and Media department at the London-based law firm Finers Stephens Innocent. Described by The Times of London as “one of the best advocates for freedom of expression,” Stephens has appeared in many high profile cases in the United Kingdom, including extradition proceedings involving Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Stephens specializes in defending free speech and freedom of information, and has advised a wide variety of media outlets around the world. He has litigated cases in many countries, including the United States, Iraq, Singapore and Russia.

Stephens has said that of all his cases, he remains proudest of his successful defense of Washington Post correspondent Jonathan Randal, who had been ordered to testify before the Hague War Crimes Tribunal concerning atrocities he observed while covering the Yugoslav War in the 1990s. Stephens successfully argued that “Compelling journalists to give evidence at war crimes trials puts their lives at risk because they become automatic targets.”

The event will include an audience Q&A. It is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required.  

Parking is available in the East River Road Garage behind Coffman Union. More information about directions and parking can be found at www.umn.edu/pts.

The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Silha Center activities, including the annual lecture, are made possible by an endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

For further information, visit www.silha.umn.edu.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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