This week on Index: Who are your free speech heroes?
14 Sep 2018

Friday 14 September 2018
Hurry! Nominations close soon.

Artist? Campaigner? Digital Activist? Journalist?

You have just until 24 September to tell us about your free speech champions. Winners of the Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship receive 12 months of capacity building, coaching and strategic support. Through the fellowships, Index seeks to maximise the impact and sustainability of voices at the forefront of pushing back censorship worldwide.

Have you made a nomination yet? #IndexAwards2019 

Read about our 2018 fellows: Investigative journalist Wendy Funes defies pressures meant to silence the Honduran media; Habari RDC, a collective of Congolese bloggers and web activists, is giving voice to the opinions of the country’s young people; the Cuban art collective Museum of Dissidence wants to bring change to their country, but they know it won't be easy; and the detained wife of a co-founder of the award-winning human rights group the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, Amal Fathy, is currently in detention for posting a video criticising sexual harassment in Egypt.



Bahrain: Ali Mushaima ‏vows to continue fighting for his imprisoned father

At a press conference outside the Bahraini Embassy in London on 13 September, Bahraini human right activist Ali Mushaima vowed to continue fighting for his 70-year-old father Hassan Mushaima, who was imprisoned in 2011 as part of a crackdown on political activists in the country.

Mushaima said: “After 44 days many friends have argued for me to end my hunger strike. I even received a message from Nabeel Rajab in prison. But what affected me the most was my father telling me how scared he was that there I was hospitalised.” 


Laws that criminalise speech are deeply problematic

Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill not fit for purpose

Index on Censorship is concerned about the UK’s Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill and believes that the bill should go back to the drawing board.
The bill threatens investigative journalism and academic research by making it a crime to view material online that could be helpful to a terrorist. This would deter investigative journalists from doing their work and would make academic research into terrorism difficult or impossible.

"Scattergun" approach to addressing online content risks damaging freedom of expression

UK parliament needs to stop creating piecemeal laws to address content online – or which make new forms of speech illegal. Index is very concerned about the plethora of law-making initiatives related to online communications, the most recent being MP Lucy Powell’s online forums regulation bill, which targets hate crime and “secret” Facebook groups.



Turkey's thought-provoking playwrights, actors and directors have little choice but to become exiles

For Turkish director and actor Memet Ali Alabora, theatre is about creating an environment in which the audience is encouraged to think, react and reflect. His goal is to leave the audience thinking about and questioning issues, whether it be democracy, free speech, women’s rights or the concept of belonging.


Corrosive ideas

How fact and fiction come together in the age of unreason

Using fiction and stories to influence society is nothing new, but facts are needed to drive the most powerful campaigns, argues Rachael Jolley in the autumn 2018 Index on Censorship magazine​

Podcast: The Age of Unreason

Are facts under attack? We explore this question in the Autumn issue of Index on Censorship magazine. In the podcast, we speak to Academy of Ideas founder and director Claire Fox about why we need to leave our echo chambers; Tanzanian blogger Elsie Eyakuze discusses a current blogging tax in her country pricing writers offline, and journalist Dan Nolan talks of the dangers that currently face scientists in Hungary.​

You're invited
The Age of Unreason: Index on Censorship autumn magazine launch 
When: Tuesday 2 October, 6.30-9pm
Where: The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4BS
Tickets: Free. Registration required.

You can find a full list of upcoming Index on Censorship events on our website, including our busy Banned Books Week calendar. 
Index on Censorship defends people's freedom to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution. We publish censored writers and artists, monitor and campaign against censorship, and encourage debate.  

We rely on donations from readers and supporters. By donating to Index you help us to protect freedom of expression and to support those who are denied that right.
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