Actually Oiwan Lam doesn't need freeing yet, but that's the rallying cry being used by her supporters who have now set up a blog and a Facebook page. You can click here to contribute to her defence fund.
Oiwan is fighting an indecency ruling for posting an artsy topless photo she found on Flickr. She is a member of Hong Kong's local citizen media movement and has gotten increasingly involved in free speech activism over the past few years.
I took the picture below during the July 1st pro-democracy march, where she and her colleagues from InMedia Hong Kong were fundraising and demonstrating about what they see as a creeping chill over speech in Hong Kong. The inflatable hammer she holds is labled "Obscene Articles Tribunal."
She also explains why she thinks Flickr's decision to locally censor the photo she used - a month after she found it there and posted it on her site - may have happened under advisement of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA). "According to their administrative procedure," Oiwan says, after TELA notified her that they were referring her case to the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT) "they have to contact Yahoo Hong Kong and to give them advice." The OAT's indecent ruling came down after the photo was censored to Hong Kong's Flickr users. She writes: "the compromising filtering policy of flickr via Hong Kong Yahoo, might have given them the confidence that they had successfully tamed a global company, why not this shabby homemade website?" We don't know the answer. We haven't heard from anybody at Flickr, Yahoo!, TELA, or the OAT to clarify what actually happened, who talked to whom and who was influenced by whom.
One clarification needs to be made: Oiwan writes that I have a source which "seems to confirm that it is a Hong Kong Yahoo’s decision and judgment to comply with the TELA guideline." That is not actually the case. I have no source confirming communication between TELA and Yahoo, just a source who told me that decisions about content filtering for regional services are made at the local level, not by Flickr staff in the U.S.
As Oiwan points out, yesterday TELA nearly made a bookseller withdraw a book with a picture of Venus and Psyche on the cover.