The Yale Daily News is reporting that 16 organizations, including American Civil Liberties Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the International Publishers Association, will chastise Yale University of "failing to stand up for free speech" in a statement released today. At issue is concern that Yale University Press capitulated to threats of violence creating an atmosphere of fear to speak and publish freely.
From the Daily News:
"The situation is extremely disturbing because Yale is a very prominent university, and their doing something like this might justify other institutions doing so," National Coalition against Censorship Executive Director Joan Bertin said. "This action compromised the book, the press and an important principle: not only should academics be able to discuss these things among themselves, but in this country we're entitled to talk about and view the images."
The statement is the latest development in a controversy that began last August, when the Press announced it would print Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen's book, "The Cartoons that Shook the World," without the cartoons that incited violent riots when they were first published in a Danish newspaper in 2005.
"Yale and Yale University Press are deeply committed to freedom of speech and expression, so the issues raised here were difficult," the Yale University Press said in a statement in August. "The decision rested solely on the experts' assessments that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims."