“I can refuse to be silent. And you, friends, can refuse to be silent too. You can refuse to let these people silence me. Together, we can refuse to look away.” – Ildar Dadin, Freedom of Expression Award winner 2018
Silence is the oppressor’s friend. Jailing those who speak out against corruption and injustice – like this year’s Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow Ildar Dadin – is the favoured tool of those who seek to crush dissent. We cannot let the bullies win.
With your help, each year we are able to support writers, journalists, activists and artists at the free speech front line – wherever they are in the world – through Index Fellowships. These remarkable individuals risk their freedom, their families and even their lives to speak out against injustice, censorship and threats to free expression.
I am writing now to ask you to support the Index Fellows. Your donation provides the support and recognition these outstanding individuals need to ensure their voices are heard and their work can continue despite the enormous restrictions under which they are forced to live and work.
Your support will help award winners like Dadin, who was released from a Russian jail earlier this year and has resumed his protests against the government’s human rights abuses. Last month he was detained in St Petersburg while trying to film a woman being assaulted by police. “The situation in this country now is really bad,” Dadin says. “There’s a new kind of police force which can attack and humiliate people, which is very serious”.
Index has worked closely with Dadin to help him deal with the effects of experiencing torture whilst in prison until earlier this year and supported him to rebuild his public profile. In his words: “you gave me opportunities to use help, a psychologist, and you offered me resources and you give me this amazing opportunity to go forward… I thank you very much for this. I appreciate it.”
I hope you will consider showing your support for free speech and the Index Fellows. A gift of £500 would support professional psychological assistance for a fellow; a gift of £100 helps them travel to speak at more public events. A gift of £50 helps us to be available for them around the clock. You can make your donation online now.
Please give what you can in the fight against censorship in 2018. Make your voice heard so that others can do the same.
Thank you for your support.
Jodie Ginsberg, CEO
P.S. The 2018 Index on Censorship awards will be held in April. To find out more about the awards fellowship including previous winners, please visit: https://www.indexoncensorship.org/fellowship
Index on Censorship is an international charity that promotes and defends the right to free expression. We publish the work of censored writers, journalists and artists, and monitor, and campaign against, censorship worldwide.